Be in the one percent....or die!
Ok so that sounds harsh, but seriously, ninety-nine percent of startups fail because they build the wrong product….so don’t do that. Be in the one percent of startups that uses feedback to build a product that customers actually want, or better yet, need.
“Given one hour to save the planet, I would spend fifty-nine minutes understanding the problem and one minute resolving it.”
- Albert Einstein
Entrepreneurs love solutions. They eat sleep and breath innovative ways to alleviate consumer pain. This inherent drive to solve problems can be an entrepreneur’s largest competitive advantage or a lethal Achilles heel.
Problems worth solving need to be very well defined. During the conceptual stage of a business entrepreneurs should have a relentless focus on understanding and validating the problem before developing a solution.
Lean startup methodology can be used to effectively explore and define problems. Create a hypothesis, run a test, learn, iterate then run the loop again as fast as possible. The more ambiguous the problem the faster the loop should run until definition is achieved.
There is often a solution in mind when testing the validity of a problem, and it is necessary to leave founder bias at the door during these exploration tactics. Let the market identify the pain point and do not skew responses by suggesting a potential remedy.
Ask “why” as many times as necessary to find the root of a problem. This technique is commonly known as the 5 Whys and outlines the cause and effect relationships that exist within problems.
Example problem: The vehicle will not start.
1. Why? - The battery is dead. (first why)
2. Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (second why)
3. Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (third why)
4. Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (fourth why)
5. Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule/ (fifth why, a root cause)
So this is one that you can make a conscious decision and choose – will you join the one percent...or will you die?