Nov 30, 2007

Startups & Innovating the Problem!

In general, i like to keep all my blog entries +ve and occasionally, i violate this policy. Here is one of those violations :-(

We all know that how hard it takes to make a startup, successful. There are many reasons for failure- people issues, technology issues, product development, market readiness, finance, sales, etc...

IMO, one of the core reason is, lack of clear 'definition of problem'. It should be very clear like these companies, when they got started:
Microsoft: Desktop OS
Sun: Workstation
Oracle: database
Google: search
ebay: auction
YouTube: online video
Facebook: social networks

So, if you look back in the above list for last 25+ years, one thing it remained the same is the crisp definition of problem for successful companies.

The reason, i am blogging is that many times, i get very surprised when someone takes 30mins to "explain" about the problem that they are solving! I think this is where the lack of domain expertise comes into play...and this leads to the innovating the problem instead of innovating the solution. These type of companies goes for a spin, wastes time & money, eventually gets folded down... In the last few years, i tracked few companies and put them in to 2 buckets: innovator of solution & innovator of problem.

The solution innovators either succeeded or in a path to succeed and innovator of problem either folded down or on their path...

So, startups should be innovating the solution to solve the customers problem instead of otherwise... This is one of the thing that i learned in last few years and if you are looking to join a startup, find out the problem definition first!


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