Solve the problem then make the app.

I’ve been guilty of designing and launching products that I’ve personally wanted to see on the market and guess what, most of them failed.

Understanding why they fail is important to any aspiring startup founder. Learn from it and make your next project awesome.

In this blog I talk about how your next project should solve a problem or take an existing problem and out a unique spin on it.


Mike Cappucci, a colleague and good friend in the US and I often talk about new product ideas and he’s constantly reminding me to find the problem before I get too excited about my new idea.

Here’s where I fail. I think of an idea, I get excited and I want to design it. That’s just how I work.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach but if I could take back the hours and hours of design time that wen’t nowhere I would. I’d probably use those hours elsewhere with more value to my business.

It’s important to have someone within your professional network that will tell you honestly that your idea is bad. It will save you time. You’ll find that new ideas grow from bad ones, it’s just part of the process.

So let’s start with a basic rule. Find a problem and work with it.

The problem doesn’t need to be big or have world changing effects, it just needs to be there. It needs to be something that you think could be solved with a simple technical solution.

I bolded simple. Because ideas can be complex but the solution should be simple. Uber didn’t become the go-to taxi app by being confusing, it just works — even your grandma could use it.

Now you have your problem workshop it. Ask everyone you know about the problem and how they tackle it, you may be surprised with their solutions. Next, run it by someone you trust in the startup game. Someone that will tell you truth as quite often people tell you what you want to hear.

Problem identified, research done – get together a MVP. It doesn’t need to be much it just needs to showcase your solution – after that… well that’s another blog entirely.


Solution already exists but I have a unique spin on the idea.

The problem doesn’t need to be original it just needs to exist. You may think that you could do what the Deliveroo app does but for every meal you sell you plant a tree. Go for it. The world needs green thinkers like you. Build it.

Make sure your solution ticks new boxes. If you just want to be Deliveroo and you launch… people will just want to use Deliveroo as it’s established and they have an account already active.

BUT if you want to be the green version of Deliveroo and you have an audience you can target the differences too, you have yourself a unique market opportunity.


Although brief, this blog should highlight one important thing.

Find the problem first, then make the app.

If you’ve enjoyed this blog, I have many more. Plus you can follow me on Twitter for more thoughts.

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