Solving problems: A Builder's vs a Seller's approach

Blog Details: Author: Viraj Chhajed Written on: 30th July 2021
Everyone is biased, even I am while writing this blog post.

Biases

Problem-solving is a critical component of each startup and you will have to do it every day, probably multiple times each day. But picking up the wrong problem-solving mindset might actually get you in more trouble. Especially because of biases attached to each mindset.
Let's dive into the two problems solving mindsets ( The builders and sellers ) and find the Ideal scenario.

Analysing the problem

Solving a problem doesn't make any sense until you aren't solving the right problem. I am guilty of it and many first time entrepreneurs are guilty of it too. 'They allow their builder's mindset to start solving the problem without understanding it' Why is it not a good approach? Because builders are biased towards building a solution towards it. Take any engineer and give him a problem and he will start coming up with the solutions for it in an instant. This might be a good thing in many scenarios but not while selecting what startup idea to work on!
Use your seller mindset while selecting the problem! Let your seller analyse the market, understand the pain point that you are solving, understand the market that you are disrupting, understand the customers' needs, understand even if it's sellable!
notion image
What most engineers and builders do is this:
  1. They take a piece of technology
  1. Try to build something feasible around it
  1. Then they try to find the problems that their solution can solve
Finding problems for your solution. Haha, hilarious isn't it? Now don't think that implementing this is easy. even though I understand this I have not been able to overcome my builder's bias towards it.

Solving the problem

Now on the contrary don't let sellers solve the problem. All they will do is come up with a pre-existing solution that they know how to sell. Just like a builder want's to select a technology that he or she is comfortable working with, a seller wants a solution that can be sold on the distribution channels he or she is comfortable selling it.
Most of the time a seller is so engrossed in understanding the market that he might fail to understand what can be done in order to study what is being done.
Also, he might come up with a totally un-feasible solution, that cannot even be built
notion image
On contrary, an engineer if presented with the right problem statement he can understand what can be done. A builder could potentially spend his time towards building things that both solve the problem of the market and are feasible to build.

The Ideal approach

notion image
  1. The seller should understand the market and come up with a problem statement that needs to be solved
  1. The builder should spend his time brainstorming what could possibly be the solution for the problem and then build it
  1. Now you have a validated problem that needs to be solved and a potential solution towards it, the seller should now spend time experimenting with acquisition and distribution channels to get it to most people
  1. Now problems aren't gonna stop. Just keep repeating this cycle:
    1. Study the problem
    2. Build a feature or solution
    3. Put it in the market
    4. Measure and learn
    5. Double down or repeat
To summarise:
  • Find the right problem and understand it
  • Solve it in the fastest and most efficient way

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