Probably, in your own life, you’ve faced the problem you’re trying to solve—in your work, with your husband, your wife, your kids, your hobbies, etc. And for that problem, you didn’t find a good solution in the market.
Maybe you are familiar with a bad situation that happens with other people and you feel compelled to help them with your knowledge on solving that issue.
You know this problem quite well. Right?
However, when you decide to build a business based on a solution you’ve created to address a problem, it is not about you and your thoughts anymore; it’s about your customers’ lives.
Therefore, your first task is to check if your customers consider the problem as relevant as you do.
p.s.: The PROBLEM is the first topic I address in the 7 Startup Essentials webinar series.
WHY IS THIS A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION?
Because the relevancy of the problem for your customers defines how hungry for a solution they are. And the hungrier they are, the easier it will be to convince them to pay attention and consider buying your solution.
That’s why this is the first assumption you must validate in your startup development journey.
Indeed, your solution may be great. However, if it only solves a “small” problem for your customers, they’ll will be less interested in investing on your solution.
FINDING THE ANSWER…
There are no facts inside your building, so get outside.Steve Blank – The Startup Owner’s Manual
Yes. Get out of the building!
One of the your key tasks as a founder is to frequently talk with your customers about their lives and their problems.
During PROBLEM interviews, you’ll map the problems and their consequences in your customers daily lives. After each interview, you must have formed a good picture about questions like:
- How much do your customers really care about the problem?
- Why do they care?
- Does it cost them money? Time? Effort? How much?
- What are all the consequences this problem causes to them and to the people they care about?
- How does this problem affect them in the short, medium and long terms?
- Is it temporary?
- Do they have a way to partially solve it? How?
I know… I know… You believe you already have in your head the answers for most of these questions. And I know it’s easier to just go ahead based on your assumptions.
But, believe me: there is much more hidden in your customers answers than you imagine.
If you thoroughly pay attention to what they are saying (and not saying), you’ll find interesting insights that will guide the development of your solution.
After performing 15, 20 or more problem interviews with your customers, you’ll not only be able to answer this post’s question, but will be able understand:
- Which aspects of the problem may you explore to present a better solution?
- Who are the customers who suffer the most from this problem?
If you realize that the problem is not relevant (i.e., people don’t care about it or may solve it quite well with a simple and cheap solution), try thinking about other problems you might have heard from the interviews you did.
If the problem is indeed relevant (i.e., your customers are insane about a solution), it’s time to answer our next question:
by Ash Maurya
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