Connecting the dots… Value Propositions and Problems.
Entrepreneurship goes a little beyond doing businesses and making money. I want to keep this really simple. Entrepreneurship, be it business or social is about solving problems. As part of the mission, solving problems will always involve innovating and creating some sort of unusual dynamics to get a solution presented to those who need it. Come to think of it, there are 3 stages in every solution life cycle: The stage where solutions are presented to a group of people without necessarily asking them to pay for it. At this stage of
Come to think of it, there are 3 stages in every solution life cycle: The stage where solutions are presented to a group of people without necessarily asking them to pay for it. At this stage of Value Confirmation, an entrepreneur validates the acceptability of the solution(product of service) and moves fast to the next stage of Product Acceptance. May I reiterate that value confirmation is not the same as product acceptance. These are two distinctive stages.
Your product truthfully may offer some sort of values, but your entire product may not be accepted and customers may not be willing to pay for it. How much time will you spend on a social platform that is not Facebook even if the features are better than Facebook but doesn’t have your network? In its reality, a very smart way to confirm the acceptance of a product is to put a price on it.
Customer contract, exchange of values for monetary or non-monetary valuable consideration is the truest form of value validation. But smart entrepreneurs know that paying for values isn’t the ultimate- its industry dominance– this is the truest test of survival. Industry domination comes through continuous re-iteration of the creation stage, innovating new ways of solving problems and creating an edge in the competitiveness as a champion.
It’s simple- customers want the best value which necessarily isn’t the most expensive. That is why most products have freemium and Premium services.
But most interestingly, while its simple to agree that solving a problem is the ultimate goal of an entrepreneur, problems exist at different stages. But as entrepreneurs, the overarching desire is to solve great problems. The greater the problem, the more acceptable the product. So let’s talk about 4 key features of great problems.
a. The Unworkable. How about some broken business processes? Solving problems with great consequences? The more dive the consequences, the more attractive the potential solution.
b. The Unavoidable. Problems relating to accounting, issues related to aging, child birth, regulations and taxes, death. The beauty of solving this problem is that you don’t have to ask someone if they need it.
c. The Urgent. Relative to other things, these are problems people want to get off their tables. It’s priority to the target. Trust that these problems determine resource allocations. If you are not solving problems in the top 3 of people’s list, you may not get attention.
d. Underserved: Where is the zero sum game? Where are the big giants avoiding? What is the real deal that the big companies do not want to push into? Go there and innovate. Disruption isn’t all about technology, it could be a market disruption.
It’s time to evaluate your business value propositions now.. Where does your business stand?