For some founders, identifying the exact problem they want to solve is a challenge. They know they want to start a company, but they’re not sure what it will do. There are lots of ways to approach this. If you have experience in a space, think about the pains you and your coworkers have experienced. Or talk to potential customers to learn what problems they have and how troublesome they are. Or consider this unique way to identify a problem you’d like to solve: going for interviews.
Let me explain. A founder I met with has an extensive track record in a space that’s niche but growing. She’s been part of teams that have accomplished greatness. Pondering her next move, she began interviewing with firms in her industry. Over a series of interviews (and job offers), she noticed that employers were interested in her experience solving a particular problem. And she learned that it’s a problem that’s both common and severe across the industry. Most companies are actively recruiting people to build an in-house solution. After hearing this multiple times, she realized there’s an opportunity to build a large company focused exclusively on solving this pain point. I’d never heard of anyone going for interviews to find the problem their start-up will solve, but I love the idea.
If you’re experienced in a space and want to start a company, consider interviewing to let others tell you what big problem you’re well suited to solve.