Business ideas often hit us like a lightning bolt and produce a feeling much like love at first sight. Ideas generate energy and with great ideas especially, there always seems to be a market for them.
At least, in our heads. . . .
Young entrepreneurs often think they must come up with a grand idea for a business and always follow that one dream. But it is actually the opposite: entrepreneurs need to find a big problem and work on solving that by all means necessary. At 3DS we always say: you have to fall in love with the problem (not your idea).
Many of us have heard the famous Thomas Edison quote about not failing to invent the lightbulb 10,000 times. The actual quote is awesome:
“I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”
When you fall in love with a problem and start testing solutions, the vast majority of your previous experience is immediately applicable!
Fail to make a cake right? Make another cake and try something slightly different with the recipe. Eventually you’ll figure out some secrets to producing a delicious cake. But when you switch from one problem to another, or even one vertical to another, less of your experience is applicable. If your cake is a flop and then decide you want to try and make lasagne, very little of the cake experience is useful to you.
As a founder, you should be able to pitch why you were put on Earth to solve this very specific problem – not just your cool product or service. Right now the buzzword is “founder/market fit” and this term communicates the idea of understanding and being committed to the problem you want to solve more than anything.
Fall in love with a problem.
Show yourself some love when you stumble. Embrace each “failure” as learning that strengthens your entrepreneurial insights and abilities.
Move forward in your journey with resilience, forethought, and determination.
You got this.