What is Your Pain?

Posted on 04 October 2009

What is Your Pain

What is Your Pain

Being an entrepreneur we sometimes get wrapped up in solving what we perceive to be problems that others have.  Sometimes this works, however many times entrepreneurs either don’t fully understand the problem, don’t have the domain knowledge to effectively solve the problem, or they have incorrectly identified  something as an issue that really was not.

I have talked before about the goal of an entrepreneur is getting someone to open their wallet and take out a hard earned dollar bill in exchange for a product or service.  Obviously, most people will not hand over a dollar bill unless you can provide something of value to them.  Paraphrasing a great B-School lecturer that I greatly respect:

You have to first identify someone’s pain, you then have to validate that others have the same pain, finally you go about fixing the pain in exchange for that proverbial dollar bill. – John Doggett

Adam McFarland writes one of the better blogs I’ve seen covering many practical entrepreneurial subjects, sharing real life issues and examples that he deals with in his company.  He recently wrote a great post about being your own target market.  I couldn’t agree more with this approach for an entrepreneur.  Ask yourself what some of your daily pains are, and focus on the business of fixing them.  In addition to what Adam covers, below are a few of my thoughts on the many benefits of this approach:

  • Most importantly, you have first hand knowledge about the issue,
  • If you are a “common Joe”, there is a very good chance that the other common Joe’s around the world have the same issue,
  • Because you understand the problem so well, you know what a good solution looks like
  • You know the common characteristics or interests of the other common Joe’s with the same pain, and how to reach them,
    • This is beneficial in that you can discuss the pain and possible solutions with others like you,
    • Once you have a solution or product you probably have a good idea as how to reach your market.
  • As Adam suggests, because you know the pain you are a good candidate to test the functionality and quality of the solution,
  • Finally, because you too have the pain, you know what you would be willing (or not willing) to pay for a solution to that problem.

So, once again, what is your pain?  I’ve spent the last few days thinking about a few of mine, stay tuned.

1 Response to What is Your Pain?

  • Great post Travis. Thanks for the kind words. Looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve 🙂

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