A story about a great place for starting a business

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You know what place is better than Silicon Valley for solving problems and starting businesses?

It’s called deep empathy.

Deep empathy is one of the best places for both solving real problems for people and starting businesses. Period.

You see, once you’re intimate with a real wound, and you find a way to heal it well, you can start and likely sustain a business.

Not convinced? Here are two real-life success stories in their own words:

#1. Untuckit.com: “We started UNTUCKit because we had trouble finding shirts that looked good untucked.”

#2. 7Shifts.com: “I first started 7shifts to make scheduling easier for my dad, who owned a few sandwich shops and scheduling was one of his biggest challenges.” – Jordan Boesch, founder of 7shifts.com, a cloud-based employee scheduling software for restaurants.

If you want to start a business, consider asking yourself this: “What real wound can I get real close to?” Or, “What real wound am I really intimate with?” That’s it.

If you look around, you’ll see a ton of successful entrepreneurs like the folks at 7Shifts.com or Untuckit.com who, when asked, will tell you that they started their businesses to heal a wound they, or someone close to them, had.

Unfortunately, nowadays, a lot of startups start by trying to solve imagined desires. They get all excited by folks who promote flavour-of-the-month methodologies like the Lean Startup.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Lean Startup is (in their own words): an “approach to creating and managing startups, and getting a desired product to customers’ hands faster.”

In short, the Lean Startup encourages people to “get out of the building, interview random people,” etc., all in an effort to first get inside of the minds of random people. Once there, the potential entrepreneurs are supposed to figure out the desires of those random people. Finally, the potential entrepreneurs are supposed to figure out how to give those people what they want. Fast.

This is unbelievably difficult. And not very useful. The following quote by a successful entrepreneur does a good job of summing up why approaches like the Lean Startup are not useful: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” — Henry Ford

If you plan to start a business by figuring out what someone may desire, you’re close to doomed.

But if you’re intimate with a real wound, and if you find a way to heal it well, you can start and likely sustain a business. Don’t take our word for it — just ask the folks at 7Shifts.com or Untuckit.com.

p.s. Don’t be surprised to find out that, if you heal a single but real wound, there are actually tons of people out there with the exact same wound.