People pay for solutions. The better the solution, the more we are prepared to pay. This is the basis of all business. The tricky thing is finding the right problem to solve.
Google how to come up with a winning business idea and you’ll find countless tips like: mix and match products that already exist; take winning ideas from one industry and apply them to another; anticipate future problems and get to work solving them now.
Sure, these are great, but in many cases they lead to problems themselves. Eventually we tire of solving mundane problems for mundane people. Unless you consider yourself an opportunist, who is more invested in searching for market gaps than self-satisfaction, we must be thoughtful when selecting the right problem to solve.
For creatives especially, the wrong idea can be a treacherous path. In the creative field, passion overshadows all else. Without passion we are destined to fail. Eventually our customers come to see we don’t have skin in the game and they turn to those who do.
Instead of searching for the next $10 billion idea, we are better off searching for an audience we enjoy spending time with. Once we find them our job is simple. Pinpoint a problem to solve at the intersection of what we care about and what they care about, and solve the problem with fervor. That’s it.
Success isn’t easy, but it’s simple. It comes from putting our ass where our heart is. So before asking, what problem should I solve? Ask, who do I actually care about?