Lise Quintana: Product Building is Storytelling in Quick-Forming Communities

Written by Douglas Crets, Developer Evangelist, Microsoft BizSpark

Lise Quintana is a storyteller and a techie and she introduced me to some concepts this weekend that made me think about building apps in the cloud. You can listen to one of her recent radio interviews, here.

I headed down to Santa Cruz this weekend to meet a group of 18 teams working on building startups at Cruzio, a co-working space on the main drag there.

What I came away with -- among other things, was an interesting video interview with one of the team members building a storytelling app.

Here's here quick video interview / monologue with Lise Quintana about what she was trying to do there. I think what she's saying has some repercussions for app building generally. Apologies for the somewhat fuzzy nature of the lens. I think I got some skin oil on it.  

Watch for talking about using the web to make a "mechanical pivot." Storytelling can switch just as easily as a company switches its possibilities. This is the kind of stuff I get excited about -- when traditional forms or mechanics of business, literature or media delivery are forced to change because of changes happening in their own realms. 

Getting Radical

Radical changes in technology costs and the ease with which you can use technology to communicate ideas, form teams and share products means that we are going to be seeing a very fast and furious rise in the number of almost instantaneous companies forming in the next few years. 

Startup co-working spaces like Cruzio in Santa Cruz, just a few miles away from the SVC at Microsoft, are trying to create startup weekends so that people from all over the community who have ideas, or who have tradable skills, can join quick teams and create new products in 54 hours. 

One of those people visiting Cruzio this weekend was Lise Quintana, who used to work for a very large technology firm in the Valley. She's since moved on and is doing her own thing. That thing happens to be a hyperlinking storytelling function on the web, which she desires to make into a web platform and an app (hope I got that right, Lise, based on your latest updates). 

When Building A Company Shares Attributes of Creating a Story

Lise's hyperlink story that changes the reader's perspectives, not just the plot in the story. It will allow for a reader to engage the story at the same time as other characters in the plot line, with a simple linking tool. It was still in development, so I didn't get the full story. 

On the surface of this interview, Lise's comments don't seem to be about a particular tech object or physical product built in the cloud, but the germ of what startups work with is right there. We are hyperfocused on building apps that help us connect to people, When entrepreneurs and developers talk about sharing apps, or apps that help us to itemize things in lists and then share those objects in the real world, we are really talking about a shift in how we perceive ownership, viability, permanence and other qualities of reality. 

The more we use tools to share and to connect, the more we change our perceptions of what it is we share. I think that is why having storytelling apps like the one Lise is building are crucial. They help us make sense of what is happening in the startup world and beyond. They give us something to think about, and that may help us build something new. 

What Lise is talking about in this interview is how it is so easy these days to create a company and create new products. She believes we are seeing an epochal shift in how companies and individuals morph together to work on great ideas.

Here's a bit from her update email to me: 

The app my team developed was enormously well-received, and one of the VCs on the panel was kind enough to call it "brilliant." This is absolutely the validation we were looking for. The team and I talked about other applications for existing literature, and it looks like we're going to keep moving forward with this idea all the way to a completed suite of applications for both reading and writing.