Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski: 8 Steps To A Compelling Scale Narrative

If you were able to attend the Heavy Chef ‘Scale’ Masterclass with the legendary Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski on Thursday 6 December, I’m sure you took note of how important storytelling is. In the Masterclass, Gabe emphasised on how delivering a compelling narrative leads to successful storytelling, which then leads to sales - and nothing is more important in a business than making profit. Luna-Ostaseski was one of the early consultants at Uber and was instrumental in creating the ‘Uber Rush’ programme, which led to Uber’s legendary growth over a short period of time.

Fred Roed, CEO of Heavy Chef, interviewing Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski, founder of Upshift Partners, before the Heavy Chef Masterclass on ‘Scale’ at Workshop17.

Fred Roed, CEO of Heavy Chef, interviewing Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski, founder of Upshift Partners, before the Heavy Chef Masterclass on ‘Scale’ at Workshop17.

At the Masterclass, which was a collaboration between Heavy Chef, Nedgroup Investments, Xero and Workshop17 as part of Cape Town Startup Week, Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski shared 8 core modules/steps that result in a compelling narrative when followed attentively in sequence. These steps are:

1. ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)

2. ID The Top 3

3. Show Me The Money

4. Define The Status Quo.

5. Contrast The Old & New

6. Define The New in 25 Words or Less

7. Concrete Proof

8. Supporting Stories


ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)

Before jumping straight into sales, you have to find out who your ideal customer is and what sets them apart from everyone else. To build your ICP you should list as many objective factors as you can about your ideal customer. Things such as their revenue, location, industry, size and target user (if they’re a company).

ID The Top 3

Providing that you are selling a product or offering a service, you need to know what problem you value offering solves. Identifying the top 3 problems your ICP has, from a customer’s point of view is therefore essential. If you find this hard to do, just ask random customers of your ICP what problems they have identified with them and note the most common responses.

Show Me The Money

This step is the most crucial for attracting investors. Being able to quantify your cost of apathy and consequences on the spot will make your elevator pitches stand out and grab the attention of most investors.

Define The Status Quo

How are they currently solving things? Highlight what the norm is and how the current service providers are solving their problems. People buy stories before they buy stuff, so use your storytelling skills to your advantage.

Contrast The Old & The New

This is where you instill doubt in their minds. Creating a clear visual contrast of how outdated their current way of doing things or solving problems is, creates opportunity for you. Define what’s changed and as a result what new possibility exists. Avoid blending in while doing so.

Define The New in 25 Words or Less

Describe your product/service offering in 25 words or less. This should complete your value proposition statement. Going past this loses people’s immediate attention. This should be your elevator pitch when talking to potential investors.

Concrete Proof

Provide percentages of successful usage of your product/services. How much did your product/service reduce costs and increase revenue in past cases? This is what people on the other end want to hear.

Supporting Stories

Provide 3 quick case studies of companies that had similar problems and sum up the USP (unique selling proposition) in 5 words or less. This puts everything into context for your customer, on how they will have the upper hand and differentiate themselves from their competition by using your product/service.


Once you are able to master the skill of selling yourself with storytelling and delivering a compelling narrative, you will be able to successfully get your message across to a much larger audience. These eight steps will assist you in emulating the success of Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski, one of Silicon Valley’s most respected investors.

201812-CTSUW-Partners_r2_c2.jpg