Problems worth solving

It’s coming up to a month now since I started ProblemOfTheDay and although the project is only an experiment in ideation and problem solving it has already become more than that to me. It has set me on a path in to really trying to understand what makes a problem worth solving. Is it how often that problem occurs? Is it how many people face that problem? Is it how much pain might be caused by that problem? Or is it how easy the problem might be to solve?

I think it’s the combination of all four. Each playing their different part in finding what truly makes a problem worth solving. If you are able to find a solution that ticks all four of those boxes, then you are truly on to a winner. You have all the fundamentals required to start a successful business.

Of course, that is not what ProblemOfTheDay is about, although I do believe every problem is still worth exploring and solving, even just to practice your creativity in problem solving, finding problems to solve to start a business is a very different playing field.

The odds are stacked against you from the start, the chances of your business becoming successful are hovering around the 10% mark. The best way to improve those chances is to work on solving a problem that ticks all those boxes. Frequency, density, pain, friction.

Frequency

Is this a problem that is happening on a daily basis? Maybe even several times a day? Or something that might only affect someone once in a while? It should go without saying that the more someone is in need of something, the more they would be willing to pay for it.

Density

How many people are affected by the problem? A couple hundred, thousand or millions? The more people who suffer from the same problem the bigger your market size is. The bigger your market size is the higher chance you have for success.

Pain

This is not relating to physical pain of course but more of anguish. There are two types of problems here, a “headache” problem, where you can just pop a few paracetamol and after a few hours you no longer experience it and have forgotten what the problem even felt like, or you have the “migraine” problems. These are far more severe and people are willing to pay a lot more money to solve them as they simply can’t tolerate that pain any longer.

Friction

This relates more to the solution than the problem itself but probably is the most important one of all if you are to be successful. The solution you chose for the problem has to be as frictionless as possible in order to drive adoption. Look at the likes of Uber for example, they would not be where they are today if it wasn’t for the fact that you can order a car to come pick you up, at your exact location at the click of a single button! That is a great example of a frictionless solution.

What problem are you working on solving? How do they add up when asking the 4 questions above? Let me know in the comments!

 

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