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« Does Your Startup Make Meaning? The Two Word Litmus Test | Main | How do you know if you've learned something? »


Alex, absolutely great blog post. You are so right about thinking of services which take advantage of human nature. Indeed the most successful services will be those which augment the advantages of the web in bringing people together with our understanding of human nature. Spot on here.

driveb by human nature ay? sounds a bit like maslow's triangle check it out.

It's much easier to filter for ideas that pattern match to a thesis than it is to actually come up with the ideas the successfully exploit a high-level thesis. While there are some great examples of entrepreneurs doing this (Jeff Bezos at Amazon, Bo Shao at Eachnet) it seems like the key ingredient in many of the most successful ideas is personal passion. If an entrepreneur is passionate about their idea and willing to sacrifice to turn it into a reality that often gives them the greatest chance of success.

hmm... thoughtful post, tho not sure i'd agree.

* it's true that identifying a problem doesn't mean you've got the right angle on solving it, but you're more likely than someone else who doesn't know the problem exists.

* it's also true that being first to tackle the solution doesn't mean you'll get it right, however due to the crappy odds of entrepreneurship that's pretty much true at ANY point -- this thinking would lead to ALWAYS choosing to have a beer over building a better mousetrap, and while perhaps a better strategy for enjoying life, i wouldn't propose that as a good strategy for entrepreneurs.

in summary, the things i take away from your post are:
- just because you recognize a problem (first or not), doesn't mean your solution (first or not) is going to be a good one, the best one, or a workable one.
- sometimes observing human nature can be very helpful as to how to solve problems, and entrepreneurs might want to consider how to apply these observations to their business.

however, i'd also add:
- starting a business based on a problem you've experienced personally IS a good way to choose where to apply yourself. it gives you a very direct sense of which solutions work and which don't. but you probably also want to check your subjective perspective against those of others, and try to solve for a larger audience.

anyway, thanks for inspiring a conversation on this topic. it's a good one.

- dave mcclure

Good read! Indeed, many entrepreneurships and business are born out of thinking problems and providing solutions for them. However, as in the business world, the succesful entrepreneur always comes up with the best solution to the problem. And a little luck as well.

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