What’s common between Kodak and Micromax? They were both business leaders once – Kodak in the global film camera market, and Micromax in the Indian smartphone market. But then something changed and both the companies lost favor with the customers.
What changed was not the product the companies were selling. What changed was the needs of the customers. Where what the two companies were once selling matched with what their customers needed, there came a time when the market no longer wanted the product the companies were selling, and the companies failed to offer a product the market wanted. In the case of Kodak, it was the shift in consumer taste in favor of the digital cameras. In the case of Micromax, it was a change in consumer demand from 3G- to 4G-enabled devices.
All startups solve a problem, but only a few talk about it when asked what problem they are solving. Counterintuitive but true. In their zeal for the solution to the problem, startup founders tend to become preoccupied with their product, so much so that they lose sight of the very problem that prompted them to find the solution in the first place.
Not remembering the problem you are solving is itself a problem. Your product may be your labour of love, something you attach a lot of emotional value to. But your target customers may not feel the same way about it as you do. For them, it has value only and only if it solves a problem that bothers them or fulfils a need they have. What they want is not a product that is up for sale but a solution that solves their problem.
This brings us to the question as to what a startup problem statement is.
Ideas are the raw material for innovation. But it doesn’t suffice merely to have great ideas. What entrepreneurship calls for is ideas that can work. What that essentially means is that your ideas are good if and only if there are any takers for them. Ideas that solve real-world problems always have takers. So, it’s not ideas that you base your business on. It is problems that need solving that you base your business on.
One of the most important things you can do to insure your startup against failure is to identify a problem before you create a solution. So, the question is: How to find a problem worth solving? Over the next few minutes, we will go over a series of questions which will help you find a problem that needs solving.
There is a special appeal about entrepreneurship. Starting a venture of your own, being your own boss, doing things you love… what can be more charming than living life on your own terms? So many people dream of becoming entrepreneurs; yet so few actually choose to become one. After all, giving up the financial security of a job to embrace the risk and uncertainty of entrepreneurship takes courage. But for those who dare to take the road less traveled, entrepreneurship offers rewards that are unmatched by any job.
There are dozens of reasons why people become entrepreneurs. Here are the top 10 ones that successful entrepreneurs cite as to why they chose entrepreneurship as a career.
What is the fuss around entrepreneurship all about? Isn’t entrepreneur just a fancy word for businessman/businesswoman? Why is entrepreneurship talked about like it’s a whole new concept when people have been doing business since forever? These are all valid questions to ask at a time when everyone, from the government to the media to the schools and the universities, seems to be really thrilled and excited about entrepreneurship.
Before we get to “What is entrepreneurship?” and “What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?”, here’s a quick experiment for you. Go to Google Search and type entrepreneur. Open another tab and, this time, type businessman. Compare the image results the search engine throws up. Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg – these are the people whose photos Google associates with the term entrepreneur. What does the search for the term businessman return? Stock photos of stylish men clad in suit and tie, but no real living men or women! Strange, isn’t it?