Thursday, December 27, 2012

Rule#2: Find a Problem, then Solve it





          Start with the problem. Find the problem you personally really want to solve. Do not begin with solution. Then find the problem. Otherwise, the problem you found would be just an artificial problem.


A Good Problem

          Here are hard questions you need to ask yourself: Who's care? If you can't come up with a good answer, it's a warning sign that you probably haven’t come up with a good question.
“While successful entrepreneurship does indeed require innovation, focusing first on the solution rather tan the problem that needs to be solved can be a recipe for failure.”

Identifying a Good Problem

          If you couldn't find a good problem: Professor Bill Sahlman suggest the following: 
“Decide where you want to live, pick an industry with good  prospects and ample opportunity, find the best job you can, and then look for good mentors. If things go well, you will soon have firsthand knowledge of the industry – and as time goes  on there’s a good chance you’ll be able to identify the problems that people truly want  someone to solve.”

Your Problem or What’s Interesting to You

          Instead of asking yourself “what's your strength?”, ask yourself “what are you interested in?”. If that's too hard, try this “what do you do in your free time?” If you get serious about what is interesting to you, you might not get to be a billionaire, but at least you'll be working on something you care about. 
“It’s  easier  when  you  really  care  about  solving  a  problem.  It’s  definitely  easier  to  stick   with  it  if  you  like  the  business.”--Marla Malcolm Beck
Remember, it’s hard to keep on working on something you don’t truely believe in.

Pain Business v.s. Pleasure Business

          There are two main types of business. One brings happiness to people. Another relieve people's pain. While pleasure business sounds more noble, pain business has higher chance of success, because it serves people's need. 

What’s About the Solution?

           Consider the people, the opportunities, the context, and the deal. Will the customers care? Will the investors care? Will the market care? Is there already a solution to the problem you’ve chosen?
It's hard to come up with an interesting problem. But it's even harder to come up with solution. 

A recipe for success: 

  1. Finish the school. Stats. show that those who has high education are likely to become successful in business.
  2. Work for the others. Learn as much as you can before starting your own business. 
          Here is why you need to finish the school. A lot of start-ups begins as a technician. I like cooking people have to eat. So, opening a restaurant seem to be a reasonable choice. But, you may also needs to think about details, like
  1. Can you earn enough to pay for minimum wage?
  2. Do you have enough seats to earn the bottom-line money?
          And, here is why you should gain experience by working for others first. Unfortunately, no one can teach you all the details in doing business. You need to earn it through experience. It’s a good idea to work for someone else and gather as much experience as you can.

Source:The Intelligent Entrepreneur: How Three Harvard Business School Graduates Learned the 10 Rules of Successful Entrepreneurship by Bill Murphy Jr.
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Book or Audiobooks?

Personally, I prefer audiobooks. It's fun, and I can listen when I'm doing something else. It also makes other activities (e.g., jogging) a lot more fun. For more detail about audiobooks, please read [this post].

There is one more reason that may encourage you to go for the audiobook version. You can get it now for FREE. Audible offers you a free trial for 14 days. Even if you get the book and cancel the subscription right away (so that you don't have to pay), you can keep the book. And, don't worry if you lost the audiobook file. Just log into audible.com. You can keep downloading the over and over again.
About the summary: It takes time to finish up a book. And, when you do, sometimes, you want to review what you learn from the book. If you do not make  notes as you read, you might have to go through the book once again. This can be time-consuming when you are dealing with a book. But you can still flip through the book and locate what you are looking for.

However, when the material is an audiobook, it is extremely hard to locate a specific part of content. Most likely you will have to listen to the entire audiobook once again.

This book summary will help solve the pain of having to go through the book all over again.

I am leaving out the details of the books. Most books have interesting examples and case studies, not included here. Reading the original book would be much more entertaining and enlightening. If you like the summary, you may want to get the original from the source below.

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