What problem are you solving in your startup?

As a startup, you are solving a problem. That problem might be a new product or service that meets a need in the market, or it might be a new way of doing something more efficient or effective than the current options. You have to be clear about it.

What problem are you solving in your startup?

If you're starting a business, chances are you're solving a problem. And that's a good thing! After all, businesses that solve problems are the ones that tend to be successful.

If you want people to buy your product, you need to make sure it is solving a problem for them. No one wants to buy a product that is just "nice to have" โ€“ it needs to be something that they cannot live without.

So ask yourself;

Is my product a painkiller or a vitamin?

A painkiller is a product that solves a specific problem that the customer is experiencing. It is something that they need in order to get relief from a pain point. A vitamin, on the other hand, is a product that helps the customer to improve their overall health and well-being but is not necessarily solving a specific problem.

If you want your product to be successful, it must be a painkiller, not a vitamin.

What do I mean by this? A painkiller is a product that solves a problem that people are willing to pay to have solved. A vitamin is a product that people may want, but they're not willing to pay for it.

Let's look at an example. Imagine you have a headache. You're willing to pay for a painkiller that will make your headache go away. You're not going to pay for a vitamin that might make your headache go away.

People want painkillers, not vitamins. If your product is a vitamin, youโ€™re going to have a hard time. A companyโ€™s success is directly linked to the problem it solves.

Focus on the problem deeply

We often think that the solution to a problem is more important than understanding the problem itself. However, this way of thinking can actually lead to more problems than solutions.

When we rush to find a solution before understanding the problem, we may not be addressing the root cause of the problem. We may also create new problems in the process of trying to fix the original one.

It is only by taking the time to fully understand a problem that we can develop an effective solution. Only then can we be sure that we are addressing the real cause of the problem and not just treating the symptoms.

When you are trying to solve a problem, it is important to think in first principles. This means breaking the problem down into its simplest components and understanding how they work. Once you have a clear understanding of the problem, you can start to look for solutions.

Understanding the problem also allows us to develop a more targeted solution. We can tailor the solution to fit the specific circumstances of the problem and the people involved.

The next time you are faced with a problem, take a step back and try to understand it fully before rushing to find a solution. You may be surprised at how much better the solution is when you take the time to really understand the problem.

Be clear

So, what problem are you solving in your startup? It could be a problem that your potential customers are facing, or it could be a problem that you yourself have faced and know firsthand how to solve.

Either way, it's important to be clear about what problem you're solving. Why? Because it will help you better market your business and attract customers.

Think about it this way: if you can't clearly articulate what problem your business is solving, how will potential customers know if your product or service is right for them?

So take some time to think about the problem you're solving in your startup.

  • What need does it fill?
  • Who has this need?
  • Why do they have this need?
  • How does your product or service solve this need?
  • How does it make your customers' lives better?
  • How is your product or service better than the alternatives?

Once you have a clear understanding of the problem you're solving, you can start to craft a marketing message that will resonate with your target audience.

Bora Savas

Bora Savas

Managing partner at Minato.vc, co-founder at Zebramo Inc. (C2C marketplace), ex-Beenos, previously founded Cloudoq (acquired).
๐Ÿ“ Tokyo

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