Entrepreneurship: Identifying problems you want to solve
“Need is the mother of invention”. Many of us have heard this phrase a number of times. Human Society is struggling with a large spectrum of problems ranging from Social wellbeing issues to agricultural problems and many more. Entrepreneurship is actually an art of providing a viable solution to these problems to the public. Many huge startups were started with an aim of solving simple problems which their founders faced and then realized that they can put forward a solution. For example, Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger saw a need of creating an online encyclopedia which has decentralized editing system (Now known as Wikipedia). The world of entrepreneurship is full of such examples. What makes a regular business and an innovative start-up stand apart is the ability of a startup to solve the problem of masses efficiently.
Is the problem real?
According to the various surveys performed, the leading reason of failure of startups was that they were developing a product or a service that nobody wants. Nearly 36% startups were closed because of the fact that there was no market for their product. Many a times people start finding solutions to a problem that exist only in their head. They put all their resources and time in developing something which has no real need in society. And when they hit the market the bitter reality strikes them that the product they made is worthless to public. So, before starting to find the solution of the problem you are focusing on, it is really important to first assess that, Is the problem even real? It is always advisable to conduct surveys and seek public opinion before developing a product. Caterina Fake, Co-Founder of FLICKR once said “Working on right thing is probably more important than working hard”.
Finding a viable solution:
Once you have a clear vision and you know that the problem on which you are working is something that matter to the market, it’s time to find a viable solution. To find a viable solution one must have a proper understanding of the market scenario and what actually the public wants. Again, conducting survey is a very efficient tools. One can conduct multiple surveys to gain insight of the public opinion. It also helps to bend your product, if needed towards a particular section of society. It’s always advisable to try to meet your future customers.
It is sometimes advisable to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) before original product. An MVP is like a basic prototype of product that is launched to gather feedback from its initial users. The future course of project is then adjusted based on feedback received. Concept of MVP is quite popular and effective to check viability of your product but at the same time it is important to realize that MVP is not the final product. Sometime developers put so much time and resources in the MVP to make it flawless. Actually, Minimum Viable Product is not a product. It’s just an experiment or a process and to make efficient use of this technique, it’s important to keep this point in mind.
Presenting your solution to the public:
Once the product is ready for launching, it’s time to present it to the public. This is the very crucial step for any company. It does not matter that how good your product is if it doesn’t reach to the expected users. It is very important to have a proper marketing strategy before hitting the market. Laying down a step by step plan to reach the public is always advisable. One must properly understand the competition in the market, target the ideal customer and create a unique value proposition. One must also keep in mind the product’s lifecycle. The advertising campaign should also mature with the maturity of the product. If one observes any diminishing trends in the returns, one must take it as an indication to revise the product or service itself.
One more aspect of presenting your final product to public is deciding when to do so. Reid Hoffman, Founder of LINKEDIN said “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you have launched too late”. On the other side it is very important to keep in mind that one should not be in hurry to hit the market. It’s very important to pick up the right time and conditions to launch your product.
An entrepreneur is not just an inventor or a innovator. Action is what differentiate an entrepreneur from an inventor. From identifying a problem to providing a viable solution to masses is a long journey which requires loads of efforts and continuous hard work. It’s the dream of every entrepreneur that the service or product they are developing makes a mark on the society and contribute in making this world a better place to live.
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