So, you have an idea for a product. That is usually how starting a business begins. The next step is typically sharing the product idea with people in industry to get their feedback on viability, need, etc…. Sounds logical right? Not really. I suggest that a better first step is to first focus on defining the problem your product idea is trying to solve. It’s just looking at your product idea from the other angle, the angle of the potential buyers.
There are many problems faced by potential buyers, but only a few are so painful, that they get seriously addressed. I call these the “must solve” problems. You need to be in this category, if not people will tell you your idea is a good one, but when you try to sell it, there won’t be budget for it. Budget goes to high priority “must solve” problems, versus the nice to solve problems. Which is why looking at the business opportunity from the angle of buyers is so important. By starting here, you are more likely to focus on the right product needs and minimize unknown gaps in your product development.
To do that, you want to obtain so much knowledge on the buyer’s problem, that you could do the job. How do they address the problem today? Why is it so hard? What information do they rely on and who else relies on their information? Where do the frustrations lie? What is solving the problem worth to them? Why don’t existing solutions work, etc..? The more you understand, the better you and your team will be able to create an offering at a price point, that someone will actually buy.
The road to business success is littered with companies who had “great products” that never gained traction before they ran out of money. Winners are companies that learn how to solve “must solve” problems in a high-quality way, at a price point with a good return on investment for the customer.
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