Stop solving global problems!

Original author: Ben Yoskovitz
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“Would you like to make more money?”, “Is it difficult to hire people?”, “Overwhelmed by mail?”, “Do you want to improve your health and shape?”

Of course, most people will answer yes to these questions. These are common truths. Global problems. And they are not solvable.

Many startups confuse global vision and attempts to solve universal problems . Global vision is important. It is necessary to set lofty, noble goals aimed at changing the world. But, if you claim that you are solving global problems, you most likely do not understand the real problems.

Communicating with potential customers, startup founders make the mistake of starting with questions that have only one answer. When they hear it, they use it as a basis for their decision.

Startup founder: “Is it hard to find talented people in a team?”
Potential client: “Yes, it is very difficult.”
Startup founder: “So I knew! And I have the perfect solution for you. ”

It turns out like this: “A big obvious problem (common truth) ... Our solution ... Win!”

But nothing can be achieved. All real problems, complex tasks (and opportunities!) Are in the ellipses.

It is useless to ask such questions, they will not help startups to identify the most painful problems of clients (namely, this should be done). The real problems are buried much deeper, in nuances and specifics. Let's look at these universal truths like "I want to improve my health and shape."

What is the real problem here?For example, lack of time. But, this may not be concrete enough. Most people have half an hour every day, but they still don’t do the exercises. Maybe people are embarrassed to go to the gym and engage with other people? Or feel uncomfortable in the locker room? Or do they not know what needs to be done and what is right for them? Or maybe all taken together for some people and something else for others?

You need to carefully understand the problems of your consumers, as if peeling the onion layer by layer until you get to the root. By asking yes / no questions, especially those where the same answers are expected from everyone, you will not learn anything useful.

Secondly, your jumps into the unknown are so significant that it is impossible to predict all upcoming insights that suddenly hit your head . Even if you yourself work in this field and are familiar with the subject area, you will certainly come across pitfalls that could have been foreseen in advance. Trying to solve global problems without analyzing the risks and not filling out the dots is a sure way to failure .

I wrote above that global problems cannot be solved. This is not entirely true. You can solve them, but only by deeply understanding consumers: how they act, buy, what is important for them, what is their problem, etc. If you are going to solve a big and difficult problem that is really significant, then for this you will have to fill in all the dots andanticipate subsequent insights in advance . Do not sell solutions to global problems - sell solutions to the problems underlying them that can really help your customers and, over time, help you realize your “global vision”.

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