Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Cheapest and Fastest Way to Launch - Define the Problem

If you want to launch your startup, efficiency is key.

  • Why waste time pursuing a bad idea that no one wants? 
  • Why pursue a good idea that no one wants to pay for? 
  • Why fix a problem that people see but which you won't address? 
In the next few posts I'll discuss a logical strategy to guide you as you pursue your potential startup.

#1: Define a Problem Worth Solving

Write down the problem for an individual. __________________

This is a problem that a person has, right? Don't list a problem for "people" or "society." Groups and institutions don't buy products, people do.

Then consider doing a simple "Problem Interview" with someone who you believe is in your target audience:
  1. Create a story for a persona. "I know this person, Jack, who is struggling with ___. What would you do?"
  2. See if the problem/challenge resonates with your interviewee. 
    1. NO? Perhaps that person isn't your target. Try someone else. 
    2. Still NO? Seems like you perceive a problem that others don't.
  3. YES! What part of it resonates? Define the top three problems in additional detail
  4. Ask them, "Are they doing anything to solve the problem today?"
    1. NO? Perhaps it isn't a problem
    2. YES! You are on your way!
Next, build a landing page and see if anyone shows any interest (e.g. as Buffer, Dropbox did). Check out KickoffLabs, UnBounce

Within a day you should have a clue if you indeed have identified a problem that a potential customer needs and wants to solve.

The above is step #1. If step #1 fails, STOP!

Entrepreneurs are an inspired and stubborn lot. They tend to toward reaffirm their assumptions and ideas and attempt to confirm their brilliance and potential. The purpose of the above strategy is to address that flaw. So be ready to dump your idea and come up with a better one. Or perhaps come up with 10 ideas and pick the best. But don't get stuck on the one "perfect" solution especially if early on you can see that there is no problem that your "solution" is addressing.

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