Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business

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Review Narrative and Numbers: The Value of Stories in Business



Author Aswath Damodaran discusses how stories can drive the corporate value of businesses and startups. In the industry, there are storytellers who construct the perfect narratives that compel even the most cautious investors to take a risk. These persuasive narratives, combined with powerful models and accounts, drive businesses and startups to success. 

Some of the companies discussed by Damodaran in the book include Facebook’s initial public offering, where it was valued at billions of dollars. Damodaran answers the question of why and what role storytelling took part in this billion dollars’ worth of valuation.

This book is perfect for readers who want to learn about financial analysis, especially on the aspect of the valuation of companies and stocks. The author discusses the process of valuation without missing an aspect of it. It also makes the process of framing a numerical analysis understandable for novice readers. It reveals the role of narratives about a company—on terms of where it is and where it is going—on its valuation in the stock market. Aside from explaining the processes and how these matters become effective, Damodaran also expands in the construction of the perfect and compelling narrative. He cites many factors that make a story work, as well as companies that have benefited from good storytelling to raise its corporate value. 

About the Author

ASWATH DAMODARAN is a professor of finance at the Stern School of Business at New York University. He is the Kerschner Family Chair in Finance Education. He has authored a number of financial books, including Applied Corporate Finance, Fourth Edition.

Table of Contents


  1. A Tale of Two Tribes
  2. Tell Me a Story
  3. The Elements of Storytelling
  4. The Power of Numbers
  5. Number-Crunching Tools
  6. Building a Narrative
  7. Test-Driving a Narrative
  8. From Narratives to Numbers
  9. Numbers to Value
  10. Improving and Modifying Your Narrative—The Feedback Loop
  11. Narrative Alterations—The Real World Intrudes
  12. News and Narratives
  13. Go Big—The Macro Story
  14. The Corporate Life Cycle
  15. The Managerial Challenge
  16. The Endgame