It’s a tale as old as time. An eager entrepreneur starts a business selling a clever product or service with world-class branding.
And it fails. Hard. After a few months or even years, it becomes clear that the business will never turn a profit. Investors bail, and the business eventually shutters.
Why? Often, it’s because there’s not a market for the product or service. And why isn’t there a market?
Because the product or service doesn’t solve a problem.
And if the product or service doesn’t solve a problem, why buy it?
Think about the most successful businesses in history. What do they all have in common? They all solved problems. From Standard Oil to Amazon, there’s big money in solving big problems.
Compare them to Quibi, the $2 billion streaming startup that failed within two years. It arrived in the streaming scene long after Netflix and Hulu had cornered the market, and as Disney was entering the fray. They were trying to solve a problem that had already been fixed.
So before you start your business, ask yourself this—what problem am I solving? How many people actually have this problem? Is someone else solving this problem better than I can? And are people willing to pay for my solution?
The bottom line is this—don’t start a business. Solve a problem. It can save you time, stress, and capital over the long haul.