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The other day I was reading an interview with an entrepreneur at under30ceo. While the idea didn’t blow me away, the process for how the idea came about made me realize that there is really a simple way to come up with a business idea. SOLVE A PROBLEM.  For the most part, every business solves problems. That’s the value they provide. Even those who make a physical product solve a problem.  The apple(the fruit, not the computer) is a simple product that solves a problem. It alleviates the problem of hunger.  Now, let’s look at this with a few more relevant examples.


I think Groupon is one of the most brilliant business ideas of the century because it solves multiple problems. With the recession two problems have occurred. Customers (people like you and me) are trying to save money. We don’t go to restaurants as much, we don’t go out as much, etc, etc.  Businesses of course suffer because of this. They lose customers, they lose money, and they face tough times.  Groupon solves two problems. They make it affordable for the customer to visit these establishments. And they generate enough volume for the restaurants to enable the restaurant to justify discounting their services. After all, customers who are buying at 50% discount is a better situation than customers who are not buying at all. It’s also likely that these customers will buy more than what they expect to with their Groupon. Groupon is a success because they solve problems.

How do you find a problem to solve?

This is what struck me when I read the above mentioned post at Under30CEO.  All my life I’ve wondered how to come up with ideas for a business. I’ve even had thousands of ideas for a business. I’ve executed many and failed completely with them. The Skool of Life is the closest thing to a success that I’ve accomplished with my attempts to a business. In the 2 minutes I spent reading that article, I thought of the way to continually come up with solutions to problems.

As you go about your day, it’s likely you will listen to people bitch about one thing or another. There are way more problems than there are solutions and way more people complaining about the problems, than people going out and attempting to solve them.  When you hear a problem, use the following steps:

1) Keep a notebook
2) Write down  problems in that notebook
3) Look at these problems and think of solutions

If you look at how people have come up with business ideas in history it really boils down to the basics. Sure the actual execution is more complex. Coming up with the idea doesn’t have to be.  Over the next 30 days I’d like to challenge you to come up with problems and I’ll be glad to promote your problem here at Skool of Life and let’s see if we can work together to come up with a solution that leads to a business idea.

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