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Why Humans Love Origin Stories

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It turns out that our brains are wired to love consuming stories. Interestingly, origin stories or creation myths—whether about a superhero or a business—have additional ingredients that make them particularly engaging to humans.

1) A Cause for an Already-Known Effect

According to Leo Widrich, co-founder of Buffer, “a story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect. And that is exactly how we think. We think in narratives all day long.” I believe our affinity to origin stories becomes amplified over regular stories because we know how the story eventually plays out. Seeing the origins of a story, or the cause, is particularly stimulating when we know the eventual effect.

I personally experience a feeling of calm when a missing piece of a puzzle is found. Similarly, an origin story fills in the gap of a story that had a fuzzy beginning.

2) Humanization

Another special ingredient of Origin Stories is that they tend to humanize superheroes (or business superheroes), making them relatable to the average human and, thus, giving humans hope that they could be the next superhero or build the next superbusiness. Knowing that FedEx was down to its last $5,000 at one point early on before becoming what it is today gives hope to many entrepreneurs struggling to create the next big business.