For Startups: How to Find Problems to Solve?

For a startup, the most important thing is to find a pain-point. This pain-point refers to the real problems which people encounter in their daily life. Many a times, entrepreneurs mistake cool product or service for a serious startup. A startup can only be serious and successful when it solves a real problem.

But, isn’t finding a problem hard? The answer is no. I have compiled a list of resources and tips below to help you find real problems:

  • Real-time Conversations.
    • Twistori: A twitter mashup which shows in real-time what people hate, wish and love. This can be an interesting way to listen to people and get ideas about their pains.
    • Summize: It lets you search twitter conversations in real-time and within a geographically defined area.
  • Surveys.
    • Google Alerts: Setup an alert for the term ‘survey’ or its variations. You may also want to setup alerts for combinations such as ‘india survey’, ‘hr survey’, etc. Surveys usually reveal people’s pains. So, make sure you get updated about them.
    • Search Google for terms such as ‘survey results‘ or variations of it.
  • Reports.
  • Questions and Answers.
    • Yahoo Answers: If properly used, it can reveal a lot of problems people are facing. What more, looking at people’s answers, you can mostly

Any more ideas on how to find problems which startups could solve? How do you do your research on this topic?


  1. How about based on your own experience and passion? That way you also bring domain expertise–if it was a problem that you had direct experience with. I worry that when you read about someone else’s problem you may not be aware of all of the unstated constraints that are inherent in a particular domain, as well as what the true status quo is that your solution will be measured against.

  2. The problem with solving own problems is that there aren’t many. Personally, for me, I have hard time describing and defining my problems.

  3. Paras, i really like your suggestion for searching survey results and also to create google alerts for these.

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