Successful Entrepreneurs Don’t Just Start Businesses, They Solve Problems

To start a successful business, look for a great problem first and then try to find a great solution.

Leah Busque, founder of TaskRabbit, an on-demand marketplace for outsourcing errands, came up with the idea for her business on a cold, snowy night in Boston in February 2008. She and her husband were at home, ready to go out to dinner, when they realized they were out of dog food for their 100-pound yellow lab, Kobe.

“We were thinking, wouldn’t it be nice if there was someone in our neighborhood who could grab us the dog food?” Busque told the audience at the Next: Economy conference in San Francisco this month. “Maybe there was even somebody at the store this very moment and wouldn’t it be nice if we could connect with them and say, ‘Hey can you grab us this bag? Happy to pay for your time.’ And the conversation that evening evolved into what became TaskRabbit.”

Many entrepreneurs will agree, the best products get made when the founders come upon a problem in their own lives that needs to be solved. By addressing a pain point, they become deeply connected to their mission, and, in essence, become their own first customer.

Steve Wozniak’s problem in 1975 was that he wanted his own computer. Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted to search the web.

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