Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Solve Problems

The most underrated truth about business success

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

There is this beautiful analogy I discovered and now going to borrow. And I hope it gets your head straight about entrepreneurship.

Most of the things you have been taught about entrepreneurship are really BS. I fell for the BS too but now I am waking up. And I hope you wake up too.

They tell you, create a solution to an actual problem and you will be successful as an entrepreneur. That is very far from the truth. Let me ask you a question:

You have seen the latest iPhone. Tell me, which problem does it solve?

They lied to us. And they will keep lying. I don’t know if they are aware of the fact that they are lying.

Being a successful entrepreneur has nothing to do with creating effective solutions.

It is like the music industry. Being a successful musical artiste has nothing to do with your ability to sing. If you pursue a career in music based on your ability to sing, you won’t go far.

Take this exercise. Write down the list of your top 5 musical artistes. Then write in front of them the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear their names.

If you are honest with yourself, you would not write anything like “great voice”. There are lots of people with great voices that do not succeed. As it is in music, so it is in business.

Forget about your genius. Forget about how great you are at writing code (or ransacking stack overflow). If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you have to ignore your idea or concept first.

And now back to the analogy. (I didn’t know the detour would be that long).

If you want to sell burgers and God asked you to request just ONE thing as an advantage, what will you request?

Really, think about it…

When I first saw that my mind flew in the direction of what to ask for to be the best and crush any competition. I bet you are thinking the same way.

But the man I heard it from thinks differently. He said he would ask for a hungry crowd. Damn, I never thought of that.

So, dear software developer, if you want to be a successful entrepreneur you have to close that coding window and perhaps the computer and look for a market.

You create a product for a market. Not look for a market for a product you have created

Are there businesses that have sprung out of “looking for a market for the product”? I think so. But not as many as you would think because many don’t like to reveal all their secrets. But if you look at the stats of those that have failed, you would see better.

Before you create your product, be sure to have a market primed for it. Not people saying, “oh, that will be cool”. Instead, people who would be willing to pay for it.

I know that because you’ve got VCs and Angel investors, you might want to just go ahead and start making a product that they would fund. But always remember that they are not going to be the users.

Wasting your time and their money isn’t a smart thing to do.

There is always a way to own the market before the product. And that is what I hope you get from this article.

This is about branding and marketing. Create a crowd ready to devour whatever you come up with. If you have to team up with a celebrity, do it. If you have to turn yourself into a celebrity, do it! If you have to create a cat social media account, better do it. Don’t finish a product wondering where the market is going to come from.

This is entrepreneurship 101:

It is never about the product, it is (has always been, will always be) about the market

Create a hot market first.

I rest my case

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