Start-up problems are persistent and annoying. They are rarely fully resolved, just mitigating the level of risk. It can be said that startups do not sell goods and services, startups sell solutions to problems. And these solutions are always changing just to solve a constant problem. A good entrepreneur is one who is adept at finding problems that need to be solved and able to make a profit from them. This Tech Town article not only outlines those problems, but also the way to solve them, please read on.

Types of problems in startups


The purpose of startups is to find customers, products or services are just a tool to achieve that purpose. The problem to solve here is to find a way to start a business to attract people and convert them into customers of startups.


First, the big hurdle here is that people are often not very good at describing their problems, but expressing them in terms of expected solutions. Don’t ask them to describe the problems they’re having, ask what they want or need to solve those problems.


When faced with a problem, people often stereotype their response to it based on pre-existing solutions, they will not step out of the box to choose an alternative solution, unless prompted or prompted. to push.


Being aware of this will help startups gain some important insights to find problems to solve. This is not a job that can be handled with an online form or a ready-made script, startups need to interact directly with potential customers, repeating probing questions to get their information. would like.


The second has to do with the size of the first problems startups are trying to solve


As a startup building its first prototype, you won’t have the resources to attract many interviewees to figure out the problem with a large client file. Before you can build a solution to all the problems your customers have, you need to find and solve a much smaller problem than the bigger picture.


Here, startups need to identify some characteristics to narrow the field – widen the ability of that customer group to find common problems. Example: Don’t try to find a problem that plagues small business owners – it’s too large a group, find a problem that plumbers with less than 10 people will have. Chances are you’ll find a problem that all small business plumbers have, which is better than finding a problem common to all small business owners.


Clayton Christensen – The author of The Innovator’s Solution has changed the way we think about problems. “The basic premise is that people hire products to get things done,” he says. If you can discover the work, it puts you in the right context to create the solution.”


Work is not simply a “duty”, it is an incentive for people to try to solve a situation. It is not enough just to correct the situation, it is necessary to satisfy the motive.


One of the best examples of how to think of a problem as a job is the Milkshake Problem. A few years ago, a well-known fast-food chain asked Christensen to help them increase sales of milkshakes. Before that, they tried everything to improve the milkshake. Despite their efforts, the revenue has not increased.


Initially, Christensen and his team looked at the problem through the traditional way, assuming people wanted a cold milkshake to share with a delicious meal. That line of analysis got them nowhere. So they decided to spend a few days in a restaurant observing and analyzing the circumstances when people bought milkshakes.


The results stunned them, as the data showed that previous assumptions about consumer demand for milkshakes were wrong. Customers don’t buy milkshakes with other foods as part of their meal, but 80% of customers buy milkshakes before 10 a.m., they just buy milkshakes and leave the store, buying nothing else.


Christensen’s team then interviewed people who bought milkshakes before 10 a.m., who turned out to be trying to solve an entirely different problem. They want something filling until lunch that only needs one hand to consume, or “relaxation” while driving to work. Competitors for milkshakes aren’t just other brands’ milkshakes, but also on-the-go treats like bananas, muffins or granola bars.


By removing cognitive norms, Christensen and his team discovered the truth about the driving force behind consumer choice. It’s the customer’s motivation that identifies a problem: What they hope to achieve, and what keeps them from getting there. If startups can’t find the question to understand customer motivation, you need to continue to learn more.

The problem of startups is contextual

Once you’ve identified the customer group startups want to serve and their motivations, the next step is to figure out the context in which they face the problem. Again, taking the Milkshake Problem as an example, Hunger and Boredom are common problems that people face during the day and can be solved in many different ways.


The context here is driving to work in the morning, combined with the nutritional need to fill up until lunch, which makes the problem in the Milkshake Problem more concrete and difficult to solve. It should be understood that, the number of complex situations is increasing, the choice of solutions will be narrower. Context will trigger customer demand, if startups can find a way to promote context of customer demand activation, then you have the basis for a strong business model.


Ask Sharply and Listen Carefully

Once they have grasped the relationship between customers – circumstances – problems, startups need to talk directly with customers. That’s why it’s important for startups to narrow their target market, distilling to a smaller group. You won’t find what you need if you just ask simple questions and get answers to a degree, need to follow up and dig deeper to find out the client’s motivations and the circumstances in which they are located. encountered a problem. To do this takes time.


This is a tough job that requires patience and good communication skills. Since every client tends to present a problem in terms of the solution they think they need (as noted above), it is difficult for them to discuss their individual context, causes, and motivations. They may have difficulty finding the words to express the problem.


Finding the right balance to help clients articulate what you need, without training them to say what you want, is a huge challenge when interviewing clients. But if startups do it right, you will be rewarded with a solid business plan.

Measure the problem

In Lean startups, an important component is measuring the results received. This measurement helps startups know if they are on the right track or need to change something. In a later stage, it will be easier to measure if startups have a product to sell, you can measure your progress based on available resources. Whether customers continuously buy your products/services is a good measure to evaluate the business performance of startups.


However, there is no such thing as a definitive outcome, whichever metric is chosen depends on how startups test their solutions. In the early stages of problem-finding, focus on developing your MVP, building a set of possible scenarios for your target audience. However, initial testing only demonstrated customer reception. If they respond enthusiastically, build the next MVP based on that feedback to test on a larger set of customers. Knowledge and experience across multiple versions of MVP will increase your ability to pinpoint the exact problem your client needs, which is what you need.

The solution is temporary, the problem is forever

Don’t focus too much on the solution that created the success, because the solution is temporary but the problem will always be there. The startup business is full of “uncertainty,” but the consistency of issues can make startups safe if you understand the context of those issues and aren’t afraid to pivot to find the right answers. a better solution, satisfying its customers. Figuring out the problem is a difficult task, but it will be extremely rewarding.


If startups want to learn how to find a problem worth solving, Tech Town can help you, our experience and capabilities not only help you verify your idea, but also to build a successful project.


We know how to turn ideas into reality, contact us to discuss your ideas.



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