According to CBInsights, the top reason for startup failures is “No Market Need”. In other words, the most important step to build a successful product is to identify a valid need worth to address. In this article, I describe how to decrease the chance of failure due to “No Market Need”.
Related Link- The Top 20 Reasons Startups Fail
What is Need?
According to human psychology, our actions are always motivated in order to resolve a need. We, as a human, have different types of needs including physiological, safety, and social. An individual may suffer from a deficiency (or, pain) or may grow from an abundance (gain) in each need.A need is a pain that users want to remove or gain that they want to achieve. Click To Tweet
Abraham Maslow introduced the concept of a hierarchy of needs, mostly displayed as a pyramid, in a paper titled “A Theory of Human Motivation” published in 1943. We always aim to resolve these needs based on their significance determined in Maslow’s pyramid.Don't aim to resolve a need at a high level of Maslow's pyramid if lower-level needs are not addressed. Click To Tweet
An entrepreneur should not aim to resolve a need at a high level of Maslow’s pyramid if lower-level needs are not addressed in that society. This approach will increase the chance of success at your startup.
Related Link- The 5 Levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
How to engage users with different needs?
A product is built based on a vision defined by founders. A vision is a future that the company wants to realize. Plus, the main objective of a product is to resolve user needs. But, do all of the users have a specific need? No.A great product vision must resonate with different needs. Click To Tweet
A great product vision must resonate with different needs. To build such a vision, I first explain two methods listed below to define product vision.
- Bottom-Up. The product vision mostly ties to a need. Therefore, you most probably lose the opportunity to serve different needs.
- Top-Down. You can engage a large group of users with various needs in this method.
A famous example of top-down vision is Uber’s. This is the Uber vision:
Imagine a city that reclaims the space once wasted on garages and lots and meters to build new parks and schools and housing
You don’t see any terms similar to convenience, affordability or accessibility in the vision. The reason is, a group of users may look for affordability or another group may look for accessibility. A great vision can engage users with different needs.
Do users know what they need?
Users usually do not know exactly what they want and can rarely articulate what they really need. So you must observe and sample their behaviors.
You can interview current users, ask them what their requirements are, and make sure to capture them. But so what?! Product is NOT a project.
So, if you want to decrease the chance of failure due to “No Market Need”, keep the following tips in your mind.
- Don’t aim to resolve a need at a high level of Maslow’s pyramid if lower-level needs are not addressed.
- A great product vision must resonate with different needs.
- To identify user needs, don’t look at what users want. You should observe behaviors, and drive product requirements.