Your Customer & The Problem.
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: Your Customer & 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.
— Craig Markovitz