How are you going to change someone’s life?


Founders and entrepreneurs come up with different ways of generating and framing startup ideas. Some say to make stuff people want. Some say to make something that you want. Other may say to find a person’s pain point which you can solve/remove/relieve.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about another interesting way to frame this:

How are you going to change someone’s life?

This may be what matters the most. At the end of the day, your product must come in contact with a person, and it must drastically change their lives for the better.

  • Are you enabling people to do something they could never do before?
  • Do you help people save money? Even better, do you help them make money?
  • Time is money. Do you help people save time?
  • Do you help people improve their reputations?
  • Do you help them find/express themselves?
  • Can you help someone get famous?
  • Can you help them connect with people who matter? Or help them get laid?
  • Can you help someone get promoted?

I’ve started thinking that this is the best way to think about and frame your startup idea.

A common mistake people make (especially technical people like myself) is to get overly intellectual about a product. People will talk about features. They will talk about technical constraints and  focus on the mechanics of a product. These are all interesting, but what really matters is the impact of the product.

Facebook isn’t a social networking site. It helps you people connected with friends.

Twitter isn’t a micro-blogging platform. It helps people connect with the world.

Pinterest isn’t a curation platform. It helps people discover things they love.

Yelp isn’t a review site. It helps people decide where to eat/visit/go.

Google isn’t a search engine. It helps people find the information they need.

Focus on the user. If you can change a life, you may have a good idea on your hands.

P.S. This is post number #72 in a 100 day blogging challenge. See you tomorrow!

Follow me on Twitter @alexshye.

Or, check out my current project Soulmix.

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