Which problems to build product from?

A nice little slide deck called Stop thinking up startup ideas. This point is worth repeating. Don’t imagine ideas that don’t exist, solve existing problems instead.

So instead of “hey wouldn’t it be cool if…?” it’s more like “hey, did you know that…?”. It’s a small change of words, yes, but the first question is rooted in theory and second is rooted in reality. Base your product decisions on existing behavior. That doesn’t make for easier or less challenging problems, either. Existing problems often exist because environmental variable got them that way, so even when you know the problem getting to a solution might still be a huge task.

Maciej introduces something called the “C-P-S” method. That is, the customer has a problem and you have a potential solution. Write the problem and solution down, along with the primary hypothesis to test, and build a fast MVP. The feedback from your MVP will determine your next steps…if people don’t like it you have to dig in to find out why. It’s a loose, spreadsheet-based framework but seems useful if you’re a startup person trying out a bunch of ideas.

Published: March 8th, 2013