MODULE 1: Understanding Customer Needs
“I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.”
Abraham H. Maslow
Welcome to Module 1: The Problem
Sometimes a hammer is the perfect tool for the job, but not always. The number one reason startups fail is because they offer something that no one wants to buy. The essential first step in building a business or commercializing technology is to identify a real problem that customers are experiencing. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about what your customer needs, rather than what you want to offer. Doing this will help you identify your target customer.
Identifying a problem that is causing real pain in a market is the first step in the creation of a viable business. Be sure to consider the financial piece as well: The Problem should present an opportunity to offer a new and innovative solution that customers will value and purchase since it will be meeting customer needs. A compelling Problem has the following characteristics:
- The problem can be easily explained. You can clearly and concisely describe the problem and customer needs to almost anyone, almost anywhere.
- Customers are experiencing significant pain related to the problem.
- This is not a niche. The problem has a major impact on many potential customers.
- Initial customer research has allowed for preliminary validation that this problem does exist and that the need for something new is a must have, not a nice to have. Developing a solution would meet customer needs.
- You have explored the market and have confirmed the problem exists in a market of significant size.
If you haven’t already downloaded the the StartUp BreakDown template, I recommend you do so right away. This fillable form will allow you to take the lessons from each of our 8 modules and apply them to your business idea. By the end of the course you will have created a customized business summary and analysis for your concept which will put you on the path to success!
— Craig Markovitz
Click to download your very own StartUp BreakDown template. Take the lessons from these 8 modules and apply them to a framework for your business or idea!