Your startup will have the most value once you can connect your work to serving a true human need. You are in luck, because humans are extremely needy.
Exhibit A: Humans Are Extremely Needy
The Heart-Canvas uses the graphical metaphor of a flower to represent life and the many needs of human beings. You are needy. So am I. So is every human being (and animals and plants, too). The flowerpot represents all the survival needs, like air, water, shelter, food, and movement. Each petal represents the eight broad cate- gories of needs: community, sustainability, autonomy, honesty, well-being, mean- ing, peace, empathy. Above all of these needs is the highest need, for transcen- dence. I love this tool because it depicts the universal needs of humans by cate- gory. The great news is that most of these needs translate into potential business opportunities to serve human beings!
Take the petal of community, for example. Many of the successful businesses of the last decade have formed to address needs in this area.
Facebook—to fill the need for connection to your family and friends and your ninth grade sweetheart. Whatsapp—to fill the need for immediate, global communication.
Slack—to fill the need for collaboration among work teams.
Kickstarter—to fill the need for partnership for projects. Your startup is much more likely to succeed if:
1.You understand the needs of your customers.
This involves truly putting yourself in the shoes of your customers. If it takes three monthly vials of fresh blood to find out, so be it.
•What’s your customers’ current problem(s)?
•What are their pain points?
•What’s their current experience?
•What solutions do they desire?
2.You fill customer needs as deeply and fully as possible.
This involves pro- viding end-to-end solutions with a true benefit to your customer.
•How does your solution fix the problem?
•Does it create any new problems for your customers, which you should strive to solve too?
3.You effectively target your solution to a profitable segment.
Most solutions require targeting. While Facebook now operates at mass scale with 2.4 bil- lion users, out of the 7.7 billion humans alive on the planet, the company began in a very targeted way: on college campuses, choosing an opportune target segment of the population that would adopt the product with fervor.
When you connect your work to serving a deep need, product/market fit will come easily and automatically.