Get your first customers before you start building

By validating the problem.

Problems are tangible, it's something people have now unlike a startup idea which materializes only when the problem is solved and if there's enough need gap for the problem to be solved.

To validate a problem,

  1. We need to define the problem to it's fundamental level. Last thing we need is to build solution for a superfluous symptom, when the real problem hides beneath it.

Note: It's necessary to prevent our 'startup idea' from tainting the problem statement. What we can, want to build is not the problem statement.

  1. Find the people who face the problem. Do need-gap analysis on the current solutions. This would tell us whether it's worth to solve the problem.

Depending upon the problem, finding the people who face it could be very hard. After all they could be our first customers.

  • Perhaps we are addressing a problem common to an environment e.g. Our workplace problem, then it's likely that we have easy access to those who face the same problem.

  • Perhaps we have a large audience and we can find a fraction of those who face the problem we're trying to validate from them.

But more often than not, Finding those who have the problem is the biggest hurdle in validating a problem. That's what lead to the creation of needgap, a problem validation platform.


I'm not telling people will flock to validate our problem as soon as we post it on needgap. But I have worked hard for nearly two years to create a platform which offers a credible way to validate problems and to build products which people want.

Some of the ways needgap does that,

  • Enforcing strict distinction between problems and startup ideas. New posts are only for problems. Startup ideas, solutions to solve problems goes into comments.
  • People search the web with their problems as query and not our cool, yet to be a startup 'name'; They have better chances of reaching needgap than a new landing page.
  • Existing solutions for the problem can be tracked and need gaps in them understood by interacting with those who use them/ built them.
  • Lifetime of a post at needgap is very high, as long as there is a need gap there exists a need for a solution. Unlike say a social media with limited attention.
  • Minimalist HN -esque UI ensures distraction-free communication experience.

Visit needgap to validate a problem, to post your startup solution for a problem or do both!

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