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Is Your Startup Solving a Worthwhile Problem? Seven Questions to Ponder

Solve a real problem: The problem you solve for your customers should be real in that it should address a valid pain point. Sometimes, founders of startups are enamored with problems they believe are real, but customers don’t actually see things the same way! For instance, Netflix solved a real problem of usurious late fees charged by Blockbuster, as did Blue Nile, when it helped men to buy jewelery in private without looking foolish in a store.

  1. Solve a focused problem: Too often, “world domination” and the pursuit of the mythical “mass market” leads to startup failure. The more focused the problem is, the better your chances of success because you won’t have “just-in-case” features in your product! Consider Segway, the revolutionary personal transporter from Dean Kamien. When Segway tried to pursue the “mass market for pedestrian travel”, it failed to gain market traction because the value proposition wasn’t compelling for anybody in particular. But it has become much more successful in the focused niche market for public safety, with its Segway Patroller for beat cops

  2. Solve a big problem: You should solve a problem that a