Solving Problems – Another Lesson from Startup Weekend DC

Another one of the lessons I learned from my day at Startup Weekend DC is that if you’re going to create an app or do a startup it should be about solving a problem or filling a need it shouldn’t be about creating something for the sake of creating something.

We make things not because it’d be cool… but for our users.  It’s our job… it’s our responsibility if we want to be successful entrepreneurs that we have to understand people.  We have to understand people’s problems.  We have to understand the technology and how it can be used, morphed, and manipulated to meet people’s needs.

I have to constantly be asking myself… why is someone going to be using this product?  Why will they care?  How does this help them?

It’s easy to answer the who, what, when, and where but what about the the so what.

It’s easy for me to get myself stuck in my alpha geek technology never leave my computer bubble.  I’m glad that I have friends who’ll slap me upside my head when that happens.  It’s crucial that I’m out there and forming relationships and listening ot people.

3 thoughts on “Solving Problems – Another Lesson from Startup Weekend DC”

  1. Justin,

    You are correct, people seemed to want to just create something and really did not care or have the passion for the idea chosen.

    When the votes were taken it was mostly a two or three way tie between the three ideas.

    I figure a bunch of us could get together and solve some problem over a few weeks instead of two days and maybe have a better product.

  2. Justin – The initial part of the process was creating something for the sake of creating something, but partway through the process I think it transformed into targeting real needs, and if we have the continuing time and impetus to keep enhancing the product, I see it as a very valuable tool that can help communities and micro-communities enhance the social connections of the community while simultaneously taking care of the mundane tasks for community funtionality.

  3. It became almost a joke at my old job that my standard refrain was “what’s the problem we’re looking to solve here?” At the risk of losing my nerd cred, I’m really not interested at this point in my career in talking about things until two questions have been asked and answered:

    What’s the problem we’re solving with this?
    How will the people with this problem find out about this solution?

    Otherwise it’s just fun and games, which is fine, but I’ve got a much smaller time budget in my day for fun and games.

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