Photo By: Jonathan Kemper

Are you solving the right problem?

Solving the wrong problem is a common way for a startup to fail. Or a product launch from an existing company to fail even harder. Or a life to seem wasted.

Making a huge improvement on something no one cares much about isn’t a winning strategy.

Nor is making only a tiny improvement even if people care a lot is rarely a winning strategy.

Thibard Elziere’s article How to Validate a Startup Idea has a simple way to use these criteria to help make sure that you aren’t solving the wrong program.

The one thing we would add is that when you look at a group of potential users, it may be that you are solving exactly the right problem for some of them but not others. In such a case, you may be able to succeed by narrowing your focus.

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Written by Russell Brand

Russell has started three successful companies, one of which helped agencies of the federal government become very early adopters of open source software, long before that term was coined. His first project saved The American taxpayer 250 million dollars. In his work within federal agency, he was often called, “the arbiter of truth,” facilitating historically hostile groups and factions to effectively work together towards common goals


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