Know the problem to solve it
Entrepreneurs solve problems. So do leaders.
If you don’t understand the problem, you won’t know how to solve it. If you want help from others, if you don’t understand the problem, you’ll lead people to give you useless advice.
People feel like solutions make them heroes, so they focus on what they consider solutions, but if you don’t understand the problem from the perspective of people feeling it—that is, your potential customers—you can only solve it accidentally. Understanding the problem enables you to solve it.
Einstein said if you gave him an hour to solve a problem he’d spend fifty-five minutes understanding the problem and five minutes working on the solution. He solved a few hard problems so might be someone worth emulating in that domain.
Most students in my entrepreneurship, and most beginning entrepreneurs, especially in technology, focus on their ideas. Enamored with their “solutions,” they imagine “problems” that others have that their products solve, showing a lack of empathy and compassion. I call this putting the cart before the horse and trying to push square pegs into round holes.
People don’t feel problems because you think they do. They have what problems they have and only want solutions to the problems they feel, not that you imagine.
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