Startups are created to solve a problem and generate revenue. The problem that a startup’s idea solves is the most important difference between successful and unsuccessful startups. That is why your startup must identify a problem before taking any step related to your idea.
However, identifying problems is not as easy as it sounds. Just gathering a group of people and asking them to brainstorm ideas for your startup is not enough. For doing so, you need to take on a much more effective way to come up with your best idea.
So what can you do? Well, in short, the best way to spark creative ideas for your startup is to observe problem patterns.
What do I mean by observing problem patterns?
Well, to explain it in simple words, observing problem patterns is when you identify common themes and trends among different problems. It involves understanding the problem pattern an existing startup identified, to do the same and generate creative ideas.
- 4 main aspects to the emergence of startup ideas
- 10 common problem patterns with examples
- Problem Pattern 1: Work that takes too much time to complete
- Problem Pattern 2: High cost, which can be reduced by a cost-effective model
- Problem pattern 3 – Require too much effort to ensure a good result
- Problem pattern 4 – Involves too much confusion, uncertainty, or complexity
- Problem pattern 5 – Finding or providing special skilled services
- Problem pattern 6 – Vendor identification
- Problem pattern 7 – Specialized resources or equipment
- Problem pattern 8 – Operational convenience
- Problem pattern 9 – Address environmental or social sustainability challenges
- Problem pattern 10 – Community
- Unique vs existing business ideas
4 main aspects to the emergence of startup ideas
Now let us discuss the 4 main aspects to develop a startup idea.
1. Redesign and improve existing products and services
One of the best ways entrepreneurs develop a great startup idea is by redesigning and improving existing products or services in the market. They achieve this by identifying gaps or opportunities to improve customer satisfaction and developing a unique value proposition.
The startup can easily gain market share by providing innovative and better solutions. This may also help entrepreneurs easily distinguish their startups from competitors.
Furthermore, because your startup will be going through an existing process created by another business, such startup ideas will be less risky.
2. Follow new trends, such as e-commerce and the Internet
With the rapid growth in technology, many new trends of businesses are emerging in the market with each having different potential. People nowadays are more used to technology and prefer to use the products or services of businesses that use technology to their advantage over businesses that do not.
The internet, for example, has completely changed the way people consume educational information.
By staying up-to-date with the latest technologies and trends, entrepreneurs come up with innovative startup ideas that provide solutions to the changing needs of consumers in a much better way.
3. Discover entrepreneurial opportunities through systematic research.
Another way entrepreneurs come up with startup ideas is by performing systematic research on the opportunities available in the market.
It involves gathering and analyzing various kinds of data from various sources such as customer reviews, reports, etc. They identify and understand the gaps in the market and solve them in an effective way to get a competitive advantage.
Once an opportunity is identified, entrepreneurs then evaluate it and analyze its feasibility to understand if it’s worth it or not.
4. By chance
Another way entrepreneurs can develop great startup ideas is “by chance”.
Yes, “by chance”. Entrepreneurs may unexpectedly come across something that may lead them to develop an excellent startup idea. Such ideas are not developed intentionally and are sparked within one’s mind unexpectedly.
A good example of this could be when an entrepreneur is on a trip and he comes across something unique that makes him think in a deep way, which leads him to his next startup idea.
10 common problem patterns with examples
Now let us share the 10 common problem patterns for your startup idea, with some examples.
|S. No.||Observing Principles||Based Company|
|1||Work that takes too much time to complete||IRCTC | OLX | Uber | Magicbricks|
|2||Highly cost, which can be reduced by a cost-effective model||Oyo | Thyrocare | Xiaomi|
|3||Require too much effort to ensure a good result||Lenskart | Clear Dekho|
|4||Involve too much confusion, uncertainty, or complexity||Policy Bazar | Trivago|
|5||Finding or providing special skilled services||Urban Company | Freelancer|
|6||Vendor identification||Just Dial | Indiamart | Sulekha|
|7||Specialized resources or equipments||JCB | Electric Car|
|8||Operational convenience||Onion Chopping | Female Pee Device|
Problem Pattern 1: Work that takes too much time to complete
One of the most common problems that many customers face is having to wait too long for their needs to be met. You can easily identify such problems to generate creative startup ideas.
Start by researching the parts of work that frustrate people the most. Next, conduct market research to check if there are already any businesses providing a solution for it. Then, consider the emerging technologies that can be used for it. Finally, adapt to the new plan and re-create your business model.
Problem Pattern 2: High cost, which can be reduced by a cost-effective model
Another common problem faced by many people is the high cost of products or services.
You can research expensive products or services that people require but are overpriced. Once identified, you can look for ways to reduce production costs and overall expenses to lower the price of the product or service and make it more cost-effective.
You can also take on a normal business niche and re-create a cost-effective model to provide better solutions.
Problem pattern 3 – Require too much effort to ensure a good result
Some work just requires too much effort to ensure a good result. These kinds of work can often frustrate people as it may get time-consuming and too difficult for the result it provides. This is where you can find another potential for a great startup idea. By identifying such kinds of work or tasks and turning them into an easier jobs, you can solve this problem and build a successful business.
Start by identifying the specific type of work. Next, conduct market research to see if there is a demand for this solution. Then, brainstorm possible solutions and evaluate the feasibility of each solution. Finally, select one and launch.
- Clear Dekho
Problem pattern 4 – Involves too much confusion, uncertainty, or complexity
Certain pieces of work can be confusing or complex which makes it difficult for people to understand and do it. That’s where you can spark another startup idea.
Start by searching or defining work that takes too much effort and is complex to complete. Once defined, you can then look for an existing business in that industry. Next, you can research technologies that can help streamline that process. Finally, once completed, you can then successfully launch your startup.
- Policy Bazaar
Problem pattern 5 – Finding or providing special skilled services
Another way you can generate great startup ideas is by identifying work that requires special skilled services.
Start by researching and identifying work that requires special skilled services. Once identified, you can then research the market to determine if there is a demand for it. Then, set a unique value proposition to set your startup apart from other businesses. Finally, launch your startup.
- Urban Company
Problem pattern 6 – Vendor identification
Another great way to develop a startup idea is by turning the problem of vendor identification into a business.
Start by conducting market research to identify the current solutions available for the vendor identification problem, in the market. You can take the help of market research tools in order to conduct the same. Next, understand what exactly potential customers want. Then, you can create a platform like Just dial or use technology to solve the problem.
- Just dial
- India Mart
Problem pattern 7 – Specialized resources or equipment
Another problem pattern that can get you a great startup idea is the problem of having specialized resources or equipment.
Start by researching industries that heavily rely on specialized resources of equipment. Within these industries, you can identify pain points related to using these resources or equipment. Once identified, you can then provide the solution to your target audience.
- Electric car
Problem pattern 8 – Operational convenience
You can also generate startup ideas out of the inconvenience people face in their daily life.
Start by researching the perfect problem that you want to solve. Next, research to see if there will be a demand for such products or not. You can also recreate an old model to make it even more effective and convenient for people to use.
- Onion chopping
- Female pee device
Problem pattern 9 – Address environmental or social sustainability challenges
Another problem pattern that can help you develop a startup idea is the environmental or social sustainability challenges.
Start by researching and picking a challenge that you are passionate about. Once picked, research the market to understand the current trends and situations for sustainable products or services. Next, conduct market research and identify a gap to solve it and turn it into a business.
- Beyond Meat
- The Ocean Cleanup
Problem pattern 10 – Community
Finally, one of the best ways to solve a problem and build a startup is to create a community.
Start by identifying the community that you want to target and strengthen. This could be s group of people who share a common hobby, interest, profession, or anything else. Next, understand the community to realize their pain points. Then identify the gap and go for it to build your startup.
Unique vs existing business ideas
Generally speaking, it is easier to improve the existing business model than to create a new business model or work on unique business ideas. Therefore, many entrepreneurs will find many defects that can be improved immediately from the experience of past positions, including unmet customer needs, Defects in product quality, waste in operating procedures, etc.
In fact, the motivation of most resigning entrepreneurs is to believe that they can do better than the original company before they have the confidence to resign and start a business.
When a new industry emerges, it will relatively provide many entrepreneurial opportunities and cause an entrepreneurial boom. However, behind the new trend of entrepreneurship, there are great risks, because how long can this emerging industry last? How to continuously discover the needs of potential customers? All are very uncertain.
For example, when the personal computer industry emerged, it created a large number of entrepreneurial opportunities for upstream and downstream related products and services, but not all entrepreneurs were able to succeed.
Entrepreneurs who follow the Internet trend are also suffering from the bitter consequences of the bubble, but this emerging industry does have prospects. If entrepreneurs can grasp the opportunity of industrial growth and invest in time, they should still be able to succeed in the end.
Now let us get an overview on what’s the difference between unique and existing business ideas.
Unique business ideas
Unique business ideas are ideas that have never been in the market and are completely new to people. These ideas are often Innovative providing solutions to unmet needs and problems of people. Unique business ideas are risky and fun to go for as you will not have any blueprint on what and how to take steps. A good example of a startup that entered the market with a unique idea is the peer-to-peer rental vacation platform Airbnb.
Existing business ideas
Existing business ideas are ideas that have been already implemented and brought into the market by another business. These kinds of ideas may often have a pre-built market with lots and lots of competition. The best way to achieve success using existing business ideas is by providing a unique value proposition to the audience. A good example of a startup that used existing business ideas that achieve success could be Sugar Cosmetic.
What is a problem pattern?
In simple words, a problem pattern can be defined as a common problem that potential customers face.
What if my startup idea doesn’t fit neatly into one of these problem patterns?
If your startup idea doesn’t fit neatly into one of these problem patterns, don’t worry. Your startup idea doesn’t need to fit into these problem patterns. However, what’s more important is that the idea you choose must be solving a real problem.
Can problem patterns be applied to non-profit or social enterprise startups?
Yes, It applied to all types of startups.
How do I ensure that my startup idea is unique and not just copying an existing solution?
Here are two tips to ensure your startup idea is unique:
1. Conduct market research before developing an idea
2. Identify your unique value proposition
What are some common mistakes to avoid when using problem patterns to generate startup ideas?
Here are a few mistakes to avoid when using problem patterns to generate startup ideas:
Focusing too narrowly on a particular problem
Ignoring user feedback
Scaling too quickly
In conclusion, problem patterns are important for coming up with innovative startup ideas as they help you identify problems and issues people face in their daily life. The problem identified can then be effectively solved and converted into business.
Therefore, entrepreneurs should be open and explore each problem pattern in detail to identify opportunities.
You never know which idea can turn into the next big thing, so start identifying problem patterns and get ready to develop your next big idea!