Product Ideation & Validation: Pt. 2

The Problem Coca-Cola Solves

You're a founder or aspiring business owner, and you have an idea. Your friends tell you it's genius; your family is excited for you, but everyone else asks you the same question. "What problem does it solve?" Your idea may sound great at first, but that doesn't mean you have product market fit. It's important to solve a problem that is painful and really needs a solution. So how do you know if the problem you are solving is actually painful enough to create demand? This is a tough question to ask ourselves and answer honestly. Sometimes family and friends aren't so honest either.

I recommend instead that you look at existing, successful companies and ask what problem they solve. I discovered this question on Reddit in regards to Coca Cola which turns out to be a fantastic example.

Coca-Cola was originally a medicinal supplement that contained cocaine (yes, the illegal drug). It was designed to help with indigestion and sold as a tonic. This begs the question: what problem does Coca-Cola solve? And the answer is simple - it provides people with energy and pleasure. It's a pick-me-up and the problem it solved was tightly coupled with the market conditions at the time it was introduced to the public.

In the late 1800s, people were working longer hours than ever before. There was a tremendous amount of manual labor involved in nearly every job and people were exhausted. Coca-Cola provided them with a quick boost of energy that helped them get through their workday. In addition, it was also pleasurable to drink. It had a unique flavor that people enjoyed and it became a treat that people looked forward to.

Coca-Cola is a great example of how market conditions can dictate the problem that a product solves. If you want to be successful, you need to make sure that your product solves a problem that people have and are willing to pay for. So, it's more than just defining a problem; it's about finding a problem that exists during current and future market conditions. Additionally, it's about timing the market and introducing a solution just in time. This is true market fit. And it's something that every founder or small business should strive for.

Do you have market fit? Have you defined the problem your product or service solves? If not, take some time to think about it and make sure that you are solving a real problem with staying power. Some say that marketing is everything, and others say that product is everything. Rather, a combination of both is the difference between sinking time into a "great idea," or bringing a solution to market that becomes the go-to right now and for years to come.

We are learning more about the pressures of tracking market fit every day with Therr App. Social media is changing dramatically and complaints echo across the Internet. Users are concerned about disinformation and the effects that Instagram and Tik-Tok, among others, are having on their mental health. The market is ripe for a solution that allows users to stay connected with friends while also being part of a healthy, supportive, local community. Therr is a solution to the problem of declining mental health in teens and young adults, the problem of third-party interests bidding for control of our personal data, and the problem of political manipulation and disinformation online.

Try out the early release today, and take time to think about the effects that other platforms might be having on your mental AND physical health. Be part of a new movement to create change and bring people together. Therr is now available on Google Play and the App Store. Share your feedback and let us know how we can make it the go-to solution for the social dilemma.

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