Finding your $$$ market problem – for Start Ups
(and TMARA offer)
Finding the $$$ market problem, that your invention solves, is apparently the secret to getting to your perfect product-market fit, or gaining market traction. In other words, it is the main reason for creating a PULL from the market. It is the factor that distinguishes between a “must have”, and a “nice to have”, in the mind of the market. Get it right, and the market will pull your product.
Why can some start-ups find their $$$ market problem in less than a week, while other must experiment for months or even years, and some never find it? Maybe, it is not that obvious!
This post’s aim, is to give more clarity around how we can find your $$$ market problem, and quickly! Note, please find our offer to you, at the end of this post.
# Maybe, it’s not that obvious!
Let’s use a real case to understand the challenge associated with finding your $$$ market problem – let’s use the estimated $30 billion Self Storage Market. Many start-ups have developed online applications, where people with space, will meet people in need of space. Many have probably thought, that if it could work for AirBnB or CLOUD Storage, then why not for Self Storage. You take some nice photos of the space available and advertise it online, then people in need of space can sign up, and you facilitate the deal, then take your cut. OK, let’s also add some nice features, including collection and delivery, and make it super-easy to use.
The reality however- market pull turned out to be lower than expected, and there is no sign that any of the online applications, are going to shoot the lights out either. The problem appeared to be so simple – people need cheaper ways to store things, and people need money, so if they can rent out their space, it solves their problem. What are we missing, and how can we test if our problem definition, will lead to finding the real $$$ problem for that market and not just more of the same?
# Maybe, we are taking it for granted, and that is the reason we don’t see it!
First, we need to understand that a $$$ problem is different from the normal problems. Let’s explain: If you are lost in a desert, then you have a number of problems / needs – like finding food, water, shelter, warmth at night, direction to get out of the desert, etc. Which one could be the $$$ problem, versus the less significant (or smaller) $ problems? Which one looks like the one that is impossible to solve?
We think you will agree – the $$$ problem, is the problem of finding the direction to get out of the desert. The rest of the problems are real, but if solved, will merely extend the time available, to find the direction out of the desert. As long as the person is unable to find the direction out of the desert, he will have to start to adapt to the harsh environment, by adopting special traits to survive. These include, staying close to sources of water and carrying with him sufficient shelter material, and adopt techniques to find food by catching small animals, etc.
After working through more than 50 Start-up case studies, it turns out that in virtually every single case, we could indeed find the market $$$ problems. Only two were able to spot their $$$ problem on their own, and they are growing by an order of magnitude, faster than the rest. To spot the $$$ market problem, you need to look for the problem the market is assuming to be impossible to solve (assumed to be a permanent limitation)– for example – “It is impossible to find my way out of the desert!”
Back to the $30billion Self Storage Market, and let’s find a potential $$$ problem. Let’s list a few problems in the market, for example: distance from market sometimes too far; accessibility not 24 hours, fees are always going up but not seeing any additional value, standard space sizes sometimes a problem; security of the space questionable; forced to fixed contract periods of 6 or even 12 months; cleanliness of the spaces, not always dust proof, key and contract deposits that you might never see again, etc.
# $$$ Problems are “assumed limitation we just have to live with”
Which problem looks like the impossible to solve – in other words, the limitation that currently restricts the entire system? Our answer: The space sizes advertised, are fixed sizes. In other words, you cannot take half the space. Today people advertise the spaces by size (units, rooms, containers, boxes, etc.), and hopefully you will find a size that will fit your requirements.
If not, then you will have to tolerate a bad fill factor of the space, and look for additional stuff to put into the space, to justify the cost! It turns out, that true fill factors average far below 50% of the space. Most people are paying twice, if not three times as much, for the space they actually needed in the first place, and are trying to justify it, by looking for additional stuff to put in the space, to feel a little better.
Let’s take a closer look at the limitation, again– the essence of the limitation (space advertised), is fixed and cannot change – Why? The advert generally says: you have to take the full space – period! It is fairly clear that the limitation only exists, because the (current) rule is: Advertise the space (space in search of a customer items).
If you reverse this, and advertise the item requiring storage (customer items in search of space), then the storage market can come up with many innovative ways to store the item, without having to offer you a fixed space. Example: I need storage for 5 x bicycles close to location A, and I advertise it on an online application. Those with unique storage facilities, can now make me an offer (like $7/bicycle/month), and I can either accept or reject the offer. This way, I am only paying for the item stored, and the one who is storing the item, can do it much more efficient, as he’s turned his roof into a bicycle storage unit for 50 bicycles at $7/bicycle/month = $350/month.
# How can we test if we have identified a $$$ problem?
The best test, is to see if the old way can still compete with the new way, as follows… Can advertising the space, really compete with advertising the item requiring space? If “No”, then the old way cannot really compete with the new way and bingo, we have identified the $$$ market problem. If “Yes”, then the old way can compete with the new way, we have just identified “more of the same”.
Would you be interested in the following offer? : If you have gone to market, not getting real traction, and feel you are still missing the $$$ market problem (which you believe your invention can solve for the market), then allow us to find it within 1 week, or you get your money back.
There is only one condition: if we believe the $$$ market problem we identified passed the $$$ test, but you insist on not paying, no problem and sincerely no hard feelings, but then you will allow us to offer the $$$ market problem, to somebody else in the market.
Contact us to discuss how we can help you