Most first-time founders (and even lots of experienced founders) begin to think about any startup in terms of a product/solution. Like Peter Rojas, the founder being interviewed in this podcast, I find myself constantly giving the advice to think of all new ideas in terms of the main problem that customers have. This advice is usually to “fall in love with the problem…not your solution."
This recent blog post was the first time that I really thought through all the possible ways that starting with a proposed solution might be flawed. What really hit home to me what the notion that there might be a huge problem in the market, but my proposed mechanism to solve it (otherwise known as my “product”) might not be the right solution. So my new product might fail even though there’s a real problem. With this in mind, it’s much better to start with the problem and test many different possible solutions to find product-market fit.
Another way to say all of this, is to focus on “first principles.” In other words, try to think of the core tenets of the problem you are trying to solve before allowing your mind to race first to a possible solution.
Sidenote: Another great podcast about reframing problems is this one that I recently forwarded to about a dozen people right after listening to it. I’m still trying to fully wrap my brain around this framework, but it’s a similar way to think about problems in new ways.
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 56:39 of this video.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Peter Rojas (@peterrojas), EIR at betaworks (@betaworks)
Andrew Warner (@AndrewWarner) of Mixergy (@Mixergy)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.
Real Founder Lessons
The best startup advice from experienced founders...one real-world lesson at a time.