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15 Comments

Worthy problems

Is it just me or problems that are worthy to solve target audiences outside of tech and related fields?

For someone who's only been around tech and related fields, it seems impossible to find meaningful problems to solve that will actually help different industries.

How do you snap out of the tech bubble to find worthy problems to fix?

  1. 2

    Spend time in the market. Understand the market and problems in the market. Then build something to solve that problem and serve the market.

  2. 2

    I believe there are an infinite amount of niche markets you can solve problems for, that are already solved by bigger more generalized players. I came across a list of B2B MicroSaaS ideas a couple of days ago (https://www.indiehackers.com/post/b2b-microsaas-ideas-206e6ce8d1) and realized that these ideas would only fly if you would pick a new niche market.

    For example, CRM is still a problem for a lot of people. Hubspot and Salesforce fix it for scale-ups and many startups, but CRM for wedding planners might still be a worthy problem to solve. Or a content posting platform for influencer agencies (that need to post an ad for their influencers on social media). Or if you want to create more impact: A job board for climate jobs.

    How you find those niches is indeed the bigger question. Ideate on a target audience you'd like to help and research their way of working? Or ideate on a problem you'd like to solve and also ideate on potential nice markets and see if you can combine the two

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      MicroSAAS might be a good thing especially since the product could be a small one-person thing but super targeted.

      Might also help with other things like fear of shipping and promoting things.

  3. 2

    Go on Reddit. Ask around.
    You'd be correct to point out that most problems are outside tech.

    At the same time, I know of founders that tried to go from tech to other fields hoping to solve problems only to get their asses handed to them. Tech is a very structured, open industry, whereas most other industries are not. Every real life problem has real life hurdles that likely can't be overcome with code or VC money.

    Talking to people, asking them about what frustrates them in their daily lives is a great way to find stuff to solve. I also schedule calls on Lunchclub and keep a list of my phone that I update whenever someone tells me something interesting I can look into.

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      About reddit - how to actually use that well? Industry/problem specific subreddits and ask questions there (after reading a lot around)?

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        yup, I haven't found a specific formula apart from identifying subReddits and starting to talk to people.

        The r/Entrepreneurs community is pretty diverse, so you might find insights for many types of industries on there.

    2. 1

      At the same time, I know of founders that tried to go from tech to other fields hoping to solve problems only to get their asses handed to them

      I don't know stories but definitely can see this happen.

      From various sources I get the idea that nobody in some non-tech industry will try a new system to do their business with (or trust parts of their operations with), unless they trust you that you'll make that system work for them.

      In my view as of now those sales aren't just about the system, but they're trusting you to buy from and that you understand them and their problems well. Seems very relationship oriented, at least some industries, and surely at the beginning where you're getting the first customers and the product is really an early MVP.

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        Entrepreneurs in tech often underestimate how complex non-tech problems are. Gagan from Udemy for example went into food tech only to get his ass handed to him because of the complexity.

        Best approach when going into complex industries as an outsider is to let someone who's already done it handle the core of the business. And just optimise around the edges.

        There's lots of resistance to change, but I think most of that is actually justified. Until you convince people the cost of changing things is dramatically smaller than the gains they'll have no incentive to do anything differently.

  4. 2

    Actually I used to feel the same way around some time, but I came across Paul Graham's essay http://paulgraham.com/startupideas.html . The last section titled 'Noticing' would be related to this context.

    Often times it's possible that you find new markets when you're trying to solve problems that most others are already doing but you try to do it more efficiently

  5. 1

    I have this problem as well, but like the others are saying, you can go out into the real world. This is time consuming though and there are not guarantees you find worth while problems.

    A better idea is to solve a problem that you have. I am certain there is a small group of people who are experiencing the same issue. Look around you, your home, block, etc. What problems do you experience or see? Try to ask yourself why do we do X this way?

    I have a list of ideas that I have been building on doing this method which seem to be good.

  6. 1

    Go into the real world, atleast thats how i try to find new ideas.

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      Yeah, that was my thinking too. Just do more stuff, see more stuff, surely some stuff can be improved. It's just not very systematic, and I think I tend to do the same stuff more instead of doing new stuff.

      Also not sure if all new stuff is good - e.g. I started paddleboarding but that's a solo activity, so nothing comes directly from there (in terms of business ideas).

      Do you have some better approach to going into the real world? Meeting new people (somehow) and conferences (on topics that I might be curious to solve problems in) come to mind, but not much else.

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        Tbh i noticed when i pursued other things in life, opening to other experiences to let the mind flow, got me better thinking about business at the end.

        Even if thats just to relax and go on a hike. I would be open to talk with people during that though.

        Another thing i tried and was really cool, is to target a specific person you think you might like and to make it short, go do something with them and talk business when doing it.

        Another one, is to join some sort of community in your local area. Like if you are doing SaaS i am sure there is a meetup or something going on.

        Hope that helps in any way and its not just rambling :D Take care

  7. 1

    Many of the industries you're talking about are heavily centralized and would benefit from democratization of power and money. Web3 is a new space with infinite potential for you to innovate in those industries.

    The problem you're describing exists partly because of a lack of interoperability between industries. Help solve that problem :)

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