Find a great problem worth solving and define its characteristics! Always remember: If there is no problem there is no business opportunity. Be critical about whether you address a marginal problem or a life-changing issue.


»Once upon a time … during a beautiful afternoon in New York City. A friend of ours hired a personal shopper. Enthusiastic and loaded with full shopping bags he came back from his shopping trip. So stress-free and successful shopping – that should be possible for every man, we thought. The idea for OUTFITTERY was born.«

Anna Alex und Julia Bösch, Outfittery


Find the „beautiful pain“

When the problem is identified, it is time to narrow down the problem as much as possible and define the corresponding characteristics. To do this, you examine your problem and scrutinize it closely: Who else suffers from „your“ problem and who ultimately affects it? What are the acute features of the problem: Does it „burn“ money, time, nerves, or all together? And which „pain“ (pain points) can be alleviated for the customer? What would be saved in the case of a suitable solution?


»Group appointments have often caused frustration because they are complicated to organize. Myke, with whom I shared the office at ETH Zurich, wanted to make an appointment for dinner by e-mail with others. The attempt ended once again in chaos. This everyday problem kicked off Doodle.«

Paul E. Sevinç, Doodle


There is not always a problem

Maybe you already have a suitable solution in stock, which is still looking for a problem? That sounds strange at first, but it does happen quite often. However, most of the time, this not as easy as intended, because one important factor is missing: the customer problem. Here it is important to find the most concrete application fields possible. To do this, you activate your network and try to interact with as many experts as possible in the relevant area of expertise in order to finally find the problem that is worth solving.


Learn more about the second module „problem“ of the Startup Navigator in the handbook.