Is Your Great Solution Ready to Be a Business?

February 3rd, 2020

Just because you can, it doesn’t always mean you should.

Lots of businesses are created following the identification of a problem they are able to solve. Sounds like the perfect scenario right? Not always. Just because you are able to fix a problem it doesn’t mean that someone is prepared to pay you and your business for that problem to be solved for them or others.

This is the beef I have with poorly designed ‘challenge-led’ activities. Organisations set up events, like hack days, where they articulate the problems their sector is facing in order for a group of technically skilled people to come up with a solution. Developers and designers often invest considerable time and effort with the belief that if they come up with a great solution that there is a possibility for further development and commercialisation. However, this relies on the host organisation (a) understanding the challenge adequately so they can articulate it fully to the room and (b) that someone is prepared to pay for the solution if developed and (c) there is support available to help elicit the necessary business model. Host organisations have a responsibility, in my view, to ensure the context in which a new idea is to be developed is fully understood and shared.

For any business looking for the latest opportunity to apply their knowledge or tech, before you invest too much time, amongst many other things, you must understand the context your solution is to work in. How well do you understand the policy landscape, the competition, the supply chain, how purchasing happens?

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