Clarity Through Constraints

Hello 👋 

Story Sprints are intensive design workshops that help your story be clarified through constraints so you can unlock new growth.

Story Sprints were created by Charbel Semaan and Patrick Hodgdon.

Charbel is a design mentor at 500 Startups and previously worked with Google, LinkedIn, Yahoo, and Medallia.

Patrick is a growth strategist who has led marketing, social, and growth for the likes of ProfitWell, Drift, and Riptide Software as well as award winning campaigns for Red Baron Pizza and Carmex & LeBron James.

Why do a Story Sprint?

A Story Sprint helps you get clarity through constraints.

They’re quick, intense, and impactful.

You’ll be able to generate more revenue with a clear, concise, and compelling message.

You also save months of decision deadlock around “perfecting” your marketing and messaging.

Unlike other storytelling workshops, Story Sprints uses design-thinking and the design sprint methodology created by Google Ventures.

We’ve curated and tweaked the best exercises to help you tell a clear and compelling story externally to your customers and internally to your team.

See it here: Story Sprints are intensive design workshops that help your story be clarified through constraints so you can unlock new growth.

In fact, we ran a Story Sprint on Story Sprints. What you just read was a result of the most popular exercise: the 3×3 Walkthrough.

How it works

A Story Sprint is a 4-hour intensive workshop guided by one or two story guides who lead you through a number of design-thinking exercises to force you to dig deep and hone in.

The workshop can be in person with a team or recorded via a Skype call and afterward, we send you the recording and the notes (virtual whiteboard) so you can reference everything later as needed.

Your guides will then help you over the course of 4-12 weeks continue to distill your story down and apply it anywhere and everywhere including your:

  • Website
  • Sales Deck
  • Pitch Deck
  • Content Marketing
  • By each member of your team with everyone they meet

The recipe for a successful Story Sprint

Your Mission

1. 20-Year Roadmap (15 mins)
– Helps you think long-term
2. Golden Circle (What, How, Why) (30 mins)
– Reminds you why your business exists

Your Detail

3. 3×3 Walkthrough (What, Why, How…3 words each) (30 mins)
– Distills your messaging/positioning down to 9 words
4. Top 3 Values and Guiding Principles (15 mins)
– Makes your “why” more specific

Your Brand Relative to Others

5. Personality Sliders (20 mins)
– Defines the attitude and style of your brand
6. Competitive Landscape (20 mins)
– Compares your brand to other companies/freelancers

Your Customer, The Hero

7. Top 3 Audiences (15 mins)
– Helps you prioritize the target for your brand
8. Hero’s Journey (30 mins)
– Reframes your story with your customer as the hero


Emma’s creative business movement.

Emma’s on a mission. She clarified her purpose and articulated it in a way that finally brought all the pieces of her coaching together.

“A Story Sprint was exactly what I needed.”

–Emma Moran, Founder of Creatives on Fire

Riptide’s Wave

Riptide was one the earliest adopters and leading experts of a new technology in the Enterprise Learning space.

The problem?

The wave of early adoption by the industry was still building and hadn’t taken off yet. In addition, leading with the product in an underdeveloped market led to confusion for buyers who either didn’t know what it was or didn’t know how to leverage it to accomplish their current goals.

Until Riptide flipped the story and lead with their customer as the hero.

“Patrick’s reframing of our marketing story, with our customer and not our product as the hero of the story, was instrumental in quickly growing our sales pipeline by 10X in just 3 months.”

-David Keezel, Director of Sales, Riptide Learning

Investment in a Story Sprint

Story Sprints start at $3,000 which includes a 4-hour guided workshop via Skype and 4-weeks of coaching and story editing as you translate your story into your website, marketing and sales materials, etc.

In person Story Sprints for leadership teams start at $5,000.

We expect the impact of the Story Sprint to provide 10x or more the value within 3 months.

Cost of NOT doing a Story Sprint

You’ll continue to confuse your prospective customers, investors, and team members.

You’ll waste weeks or months debating internally on the perfect marketing and messaging.

Your next big deal will be months out instead of weeks.

You won’t generate the revenue you need for your company to thrive.


Don’t confuse another customer!

There is 1 space left in both September and October.

Chat with Patrick directly or book an exploration call to learn more about doing a Story Sprint.