Mo' Problems, mo' Solutions
When it comes to addressing customer needs, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding solutions. After all, solving problems is what we do as entrepreneurs, product managers, and designers. Still, before we can start thinking about solutions, we must take a step back and ensure that we focus on large enough problems.
The bigger the problem you solve, the more value you create. The more value you create, the more your business will grow. In the case of Dropbox, Drew Houston, at this time a developer, was riding a bus from Boston to New York. He had initially planned to work on his laptop during the trip but realized he didn't have his USB memory stick. He felt the pain, and the idea of Dropbox arose."If you build for yourself, you'll always have product-market fit". Naval Ravikant
Paul Graham, the founder of YC, calls those ideas "organic." Organic ideas are often promising because if you identify the problem and develop a suitable solution, the chance is high that there are others with similar needs.The Problem Hypothesis Framework
One way to do this less organically or test an organic idea is by using the Problem Hypothesis framework, which involves identifying a specific problem you believe your customer is facing. By conducting interviews with potential customers, you validate whether or not this is a problem that they have.But before starting with interviews, search for all information available:
- Have others attempted to solve this problem before, and why did they succeed or fail? Research and technology portals, patent databases, open innovation platforms, competition, and tools like Statista.
- How many people experience the problem? Social networks, expert and consumer blogs, blogs of relevant influencers, test portals, and tools like Google Keyword Planner.
However, interviews with potential customers are essential in the Problem Hypothesis
process. These interviews help you validate whether our problem hypothesis is accurate and allow you to learn more about your customers and their needs.