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What Is The Problem You Solve?

May 13, 2012 fm

Last Wednesday I had lunch with my old friend Bobby from Berlin. In the enjoyable ambience of Pan Asia he explained his new business model to me. As usual I didn’t get it; too technical, too wishy-washy, too far away from the point.

Bobby is not alone. Hardly anybody can tell me the core of their business models in a few words. Good inspiration comes from Verne Harnish, the founder of Gazelles and one of the creators of Entrepreneurs’ Organization. When asked what he does Verne always starts with the same phrase: “The problem we solve is… ”

Stefan Glänzer, one of Europe’s top early stage investors hit the same nail during a round table discussion at the web conference Heureka this week. He said that start-ups should stop analyzing models and start to solve problems.

So I asked Bobby: “What is the problem you solve?”

It took us some twenty minutes until we had cut out all bullshit bingo jargon like “increasing efficiency”.

In the end we came up with a two-sentence paragraph:

We solve the problem of distribution loss in online advertising. Thanks to our state-of-the-art technology, which enables real-time ad management, we reduce the distribution loss by up to 30%.

I asked myself the same question. It’s a first draft line, but then again it’s like the IPO prospectus of Facebook says: Done is better than perfect.

“The problem I solve is that I take away people’s fear of speaking in public and turn public speaking into a fun and fulfilling experience.”

So – what is the problem YOU solve?

Comments (2)

  1. Thanks Florian! After a bit of brainstorming, I came up with this for aakaash:
    We solve the problem of the dilema represented by the “dualism” of money and meaning in everyday life. We establish a connection between merchant, customer and local cause-oriented organisations at the point of sale using innovative tools for mobile payment and location based services that create business and social value from monetary transactions, unleashing a massive amount of capital for social good.

    “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
    – Desmond Tutu

    • My suggestion… “Monetary everyday transactions and social good are not connected. We solve this problem by establishing a link between merchant, customer and local cause-oriented organisations at the point of sale. Using innovative tools for mobile payment and location based services we can unleash a massive amount of capital for social good.”

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