Problem Definition: 9 Key Questions
According to the Startup Genome Report (March 2012), 74% of Internet startups fail due to premature scaling. Of these, 60% were focusing on validating the product during their initial lifecycle phase, whilst 80% of those startups that scaled successfully were focusing on discovering a problem. In other words, finding and defining a real problem is critical to startup success. The creation of value starts with the problem that is being solved: a problem dictates a need, and the fulfillment of that need is the value that is created for the customer. Successful startups succeed because they find a real and meaningful problem to solve for a (large enough) group of customers; whereas failed startups effectively execute the irrelevant.
When defining the problem, ask the following questions:
Asking these questions will give you a better understanding of the problem that you’re looking to solve for, how this leads to delivering value for the customer, and the potential business that can be built from this base. Your problem doesn’t have to tick every box, but the more you do, the easier it will be to deliver value for the customer and realize your potential.