Dear Tech Entrepreneurs, You Don’t Have To Solve A “Real Problem”

I’ve said it plenty of times, starting a business can be an extremely rewarding experience. I really mean that.

What you learn in the process about people, about yourself and about the world around you is truly priceless.

However, we put way too much pressure towards the idea of starting a business that most of us loose sight of what’s important.

Contrary to popular belief, I think starting a business can be fun. Business should appeal to anyone looking to build something — even if it’s not something life-saving.

In the technology world, I hear the following rant all the time from investors, other entrepreneurs and developers:

A lot of these young entrepreneurs are in a bubble! These guys are always trying to build another photo-sharing app.
There should be more people working on real problems like curing cancer, global warming or education. We should be working on changing the world!
If we had as many people working on photo-sharing apps as we did working on real problems, the world would be a better place.

Not exactly, and it’s just inaccurate to think so.

Here’s why…

We can argue that people who volunteer to clean up streets in low-income housing areas are wasting their time.

They aren’t directly changing the world, and the streets are going to get dirty again anyway.

Surely, we can all agree that it wouldn’t be fair to tell those people to work on a real problem.

Imagine how condescending that would sound?

Sure, Apps like Snapchat don’t directly change the world.

But the precious moments you’re able to capture and share with your friends make your world a little better.

The photos you take on Instagram will serve as memories after you’re gone.

Some people are actually making a living off social / entertainment apps by using them as a networking / advertising platform - a phenomenon unheard of pre-internet.

This doesn’t only apply to social apps either.

Other apps ranging from industries like dating to games also create jobs within their community.

That is, the ones that become successful — which is the goal for every app.

All of these apps-turned-companies provide fun unique jobs for the community and it’s ultimately great for the economy.

The fact is, one good feeling can have a ripple effect that can ultimately help change the world.

Got an app idea to help people communicate better? have more fun? share with friends easier?

Do it.

You too can change the world (if you want to), one moment at a time.