Solving real-world problems: create value by addressing deep pain

Mehra Lester

Posted on December 1, 2023

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In the fast-paced and competitive world of entrepreneurship, one of the fundamental secrets to success is to identify unresolved pain that offers a unique combination of market demand and profitability. Solving real-world problems is not just something that is nice to do; it is a necessity for success. One of the main reasons why businesses fail is that there is no addressable market to begin with and this is usually because there isn’t a deep enough pain that is being targeted.

Entrepreneurship and problem solving

One of the biggest pitfalls that aspiring entrepreneurs often fall into is creating products or services that they believe are interesting or cool, without considering whether there is a genuine demand for them. In fact, the number one reason why businesses fail is because there is no addressable market to begin with, indicating that there isn’t a strong enough demand in the first instance. Creating a product/service that doesn’t solve a real-world problem is an approach that is bound to lead to failure. Because to build a successful business, it is essential to focus on solving problems that are relevant and meaningful to a significant number of people.

To build a sustainable business, it is essential to identify and address genuine pain points that people around us are dealing with in their day-to-day lives. This means that the products that we produce or the services we offer shouldn’t be just nice-to-have but rather a must-have. A must-have solution is one that solves a critical problem or fulfills a vital need in a way that no other alternative can. It becomes an essential part of people’s lives, and they cannot imagine going without it. This level of indispensability not only drives initial adoption but also cultivates customer loyalty and sustains long-term success in business.

Types of problems in real world

Whether you are starting a new business in the tech industry or passionate about creating a not-for-profit social enterprise, as part of your businesses ‘why’ you must think about what problem you are solving and be very clear when defining it.

Types of problems that people deal with in their day-to-day lives typically fall into one of the below categories:

  • Consumer problems
  • Environmental problems
  • Health problems
  • Social problems
  • Business problems

Before you start thinking about solving a problem, you need to find out what type of problem you are passionate about solving. Remember the business should be your passion. Not sure how to unearth your passion? Check out our previously published article on the complex role of passion in entrepreneurship.

Steps to take in solving a real-world problem as an entrepreneur

Solving real-world problems goes beyond immediate financial gain. It is about making a meaningful impact on individuals and society as a whole. Entrepreneurs who focus on addressing genuine challenges can create positive change and contribute to the betterment of the world. By aligning their business goals with a larger purpose, they attract like-minded individuals who are passionate about their cause and inspire others to join their mission. Before starting your own business as an entrepreneur, you need to identify a real-world problem. Not every problem that we identify around us is worth solving. You need to find that deep customer pain and dig deep into it. Real-world problems that are worth solving and lead to sustainable businesses are the ones that address real pain points for customers. By addressing these problems, you will be able to solve that deep pain and offer a must-have product or service that has a real market in the long run. Think about what frustrates you on a daily basis. This is how Spotify came to be. Spotify’s founder, Daniel Ek, found himself frustrated by downloading pirated music files which was a growing challenge for the whole music industry. Daniel realised that music streaming had a huge potential, which made him start Spotify startup in 2006.

Case studies of real-life successful entrepreneurs

To illustrate the importance of solving real-world problems, let’s consider some successful businesses that have thrived by addressing pressing needs. Take the rise of food delivery services, for example. These platforms recognised the problem of limited access to quality meals and convenience for busy individuals and provided a solution that revolutionised the way people order and receive food. By understanding the real-world problem and offering a must-have solution, companies such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo, and Menulog have transformed the food industry.

Another example is the emergence of sustainable and eco-friendly products. With increasing environmental concerns, entrepreneurs have tapped into the demand for alternatives that minimise harm to the planet. By creating innovative solutions, such as reusable products or renewable energy technologies, these businesses have not only addressed a real-world problem but have also gained a competitive edge in a socially conscious market. A good example of this is an Australian company called Who Gives A Crap. They are not only solving a real-world problem by providing toilet accessibility in emerging countries but also by selling toilet paper that is environmentally friendly and has minimised the harm to the planet.

Challenges and barriers in problem solving

It’s important to note that solving real-world problems requires a mindset of continuous learning and adaptation. As societal needs evolve, entrepreneurs must stay attuned to changes and be agile in adjusting their solutions accordingly. By actively seeking feedback from customers and keeping a pulse on the market, entrepreneurs can refine their offerings and ensure they remain relevant and effective over time.

In conclusion, solving real-world problems is the foundation of entrepreneurial success. By identifying and addressing genuine pain points, entrepreneurs can create solutions that are in high demand and offer significant value to their target audience. It is crucial to conduct thorough market research, develop must-have solutions, and continuously adapt to changing needs. By solving real-world problems, entrepreneurs not only build successful businesses but also make a positive impact on individuals and society at large. So, embrace the challenge of addressing real problems, and let your entrepreneurial journey be driven by a genuine desire to make a difference. To discover more, check out our YoungGems® masterclass – Solving Real-World Problems.

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