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Three Critical Questions for Entrepreneurs

Whether you’re a consultant, an app creator, or creating a product for sale, you are providing a solution to a problem.  On one hand, if there is no problem, then nobody needs a solution and you don’t have a product. On the other, if everyone has the problem, you have a great position to start from.

Entrepreneurs have to ask themselves these three simple questions:

1. Is there real problem shared by a lot of people?

2. Is there an urgent need to find a solution?

3. Does your product offer a compelling solution to the problem?

On question one: you are not your customer; only your customer is your customer.  If no one else but you has the problem you’re trying to solve, you don’t have a product.

On question two: If there’s no urgency (degree of both frequency and intensity together), then a customer’s motivation to buy is low and sales will be tough, even if they know they have a problem. Making something that’s hard to sell isn’t smart.

On question three: You may find a known problem and discovered there’s a sense of urgency to find a solution, but your product might suck.  Or maybe the competitor does it better, offering a higher degree of value perception.

The only way to answer these questions is to ask potential customers, a lot of them. No matter how much you believe in your concept, it doesn’t matter unless other people do, too.  It’s called customer investigation and it’s a big part of the Startup Assembly Manual.


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