When it comes to starting a business of your own, we all have always been made to believe that, “Great businesses need great out-of-the-box extraordinary ideas” and undoubtedly it does hold true in most of the cases but it may not be the case every time.
Great businesses always don’t necessarily start with great ideas, sometimes they start with a problem.
It all starts with a problem, a crisis. They experience a problem and try their best to come up with a solution. It’s extremely easy to understand solutions, but its that much harder to find one, and thus it takes investment of a lot of time and resources. It also includes the risk of failure, of rendering all the effort a waste.
It is no lie, that the real test of an efficient entrepreneur lies in how they come up with not only a solution but how they use this very obstacle in their path as a stepping stone to success.
The real-life business cases that expanded their company or rather to put in a better way- used a problem as a pathway for winning the hearts of their consumers include iD- the Indian food batter making company and Airbnb.
About The Company and Their Problem:
Taking the first example, iD is a company founded in 2005 by PC Musthafa whose main aim has always been preserving the tradition of Indian Cooking. They sell batter to make renowned South Indian dishes.
Their motto has always been to serve fresh and home-made food to everyone.
The problem arose when the company wanted to make the batter for Medu Vada so that every household could get the joy of this rich delicacy at home. But it was easier said than done, the main challenge which now lay before them was that all their other products were ready-to-eat and normally wouldn’t take more than 5 -10 minutes to cook, but in case of Medu Vada it would take years of precision in the kitchen and hours at length to curve out that exact hole in the middle without tearing the batter apart.
How They Came Up With A Solution:
The company had two choices either to let go of the idea or take time to try and come up with a solution if that was even possible that is.
Given the two options, P C Musthafa, the founder, decided to take up the latter, even though his team doubted him, and was able to successfully convince his team for this decision. Years of problem solving and tons of research projects finally lead to the invention of the Vada Batter Pack in 2018.
And thus they took the market by storm, as they were the first company to manufacture a product for making Medu Vada, which didn’t require expert hands but just a few minutes to deliver consistent results.
Here’s an excerpt of their product description:
“Make crispy, golden brown vadas in 3 easy-squeezy steps with the path-breaking ID Vada maker pack. No more complicated batter recipes, no more messy hands and shapeless vadas. Now dig into steaming, crisp vadas right at home.”
Pathway to Success: Airbnb
The startup was unintentionally launched when an international design conference came to San Francisco and there weren’t enough rooms available for everyone attending. Struggling to make ends meet, Brian and his roommate, co-founder Joe Gebbia, decided to offer up three air mattresses along with a complimentary breakfast in the loft of their apartment. They set up a simple website and three conference attendees took them up on their offer for $80 per night. Airbnb was born. And the rent got paid.
So in 2008 when Obama was supposed to rally in Denver. Airbnb was ready to launch and capitalize on the opportunity.
“In the summer of 2008, all everyone was talking about was Barack Obama and the Democratic National Convention and how they had moved him from the 20,000-seat Pepsi Center to the 80,000-seat football stadium where the Denver Broncos play.
Suddenly, all these mainstream media outlets were quoted making headlines “where is the public going to stay?’ And the answer to which –“They’re going to stay at Airbnb! Obama supporters can host other Obama supporters all over the world. This proved to be a major headstart for the company.
Airbnb and iD are some examples that exist in an ocean of such firms. But the truth is, the path of solving a problem, by itself is an adventure, its success or failure brings with it, immense consequences, it’s that risk taking appetite of a company which differentiates it from the others indeed making it stand out.
So Maybe Not All Problems are Stop Signs, Perhaps Some Are Guidelines.