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How to utilize Reddit to find real problems to solve

If you tried to find problems to solve by yourself, probably you searched for some keywords on various platforms. Let's take Reddit, for example. It's a huge database of user submissions where they discuss different topics, tell about their experience, ask questions, and so on. You might use its search and queries like "I hate doing", "our business struggles with", "should be automated" to look for potential people's complaints. You may notice that the search there doesn't give you all the results, plus some are irrelevant. It's crucial to combine various queries, phrases, words, maybe even specify subreddits if you want to find an opportunity in some community.

For example, /r/smallbusiness talks about business problems. You may specify this subreddit and find what they usually talk about and understand what are the common needs. Or, you may also specify the right keywords to filter information and find some opportunities. Pick any subreddit and figure out their pains.
You may target a specific business niche, hence pick something like /r/marketing, /r/digital_marketing, /r/AskMarketing, /r/DigitalMarketing and find out their pains and needs. Remember that you may find subreddits for almost any kind of business or activity.

How to find problems eventually

Queries

Here are some search filters to help you find standard-looking complaints and requests. These are the automation ones, which point you out to their routines that can be eliminated by software or your custom solution:

  • "how to automate"
  • "should be automated"/"can be automated"
  • "I want to automate", "I'd like to automate"
  • "manually", "routinely"

These relate to software issues that may be converted to new, better products:

  • "glitchy", "freezes"
  • "too pricey"
  • "bad customer support"
  • "hate their <put some feature>"

These ones indicate that someone is searching for some software solution:

  • "recommend me software", "recommend some software", "suggest some software"
  • "any software"
  • "with this software"

Problem importance

The website highlights some important words or phrases. Analyze them to understand how critical a particular problem is to its author. For example:

  • the frequency of a problem("every week", "daily", "often"). If it occurs frequently, then it'd be great if a solution will save time.
  • automation requests("I do this manually", "I think it can be automated"). People do a lot of manual work, so it'd be great if someone could help them to save their time.
  • discomfort or annoyance("we have this issue", "it's a mess"). If something is annoying, one may fix that to deliver a better experience.
  • author's desire ("I want to", "I'm looking for"). It indicates what a problem's author wants to do/solve.
  • and some other indicators.

All of them were made to simplify the skimming text process, so you can find some critical keywords in less time.

Some of the opportunities are pretty specific to some platforms or software(Excel, Shopify, Salesforce), so a potential solution may be a plugin, an add-on, a browser extension, or a complete software solution to eliminate the mentioned problems.

Pay attention to whether people tried to fix the issue they talk about by themselves. Or, whether they tried to find a solution, or even build one. Or, to enhance a workflow in some way. Some people complain but don't want to fix it much. I.e. problem importance.
Pay attention to whether people are business owners. If they are, there is a higher chance they want to save money and time.

To simplify these searches, I've built Olwi to find out what people talk about my potential ideas, to find problems to solve, what struggles businesses in a specific niche have, and so on.

Original post

  1. 2

    I like the idea of automatically scraping public forums for insights, how do you access Reddit content with Olwi, through their API? Scraping?

    Fun little gimmick for anyone tinkering with Reddit: you can attach .json to any URL of a Reddit thread to parse the Thread as json format.

    1. 2

      I use Pushshift wrapper for their API. Didn't know about the json thing!

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