People tend to read scores and scores of articles in pursuit of “how to build a successful business”.
At the high level, I think it’s really simple.
Building a successful business is based on 3 strong foundational pillars.
Solve a real problem for a large enough group of people
You can find a real problem by observing people’s behaviour. Do they say “I wish I could do X” or do they actively invest time, effort, and hacks to be able to do X. The latter means there’s a real problem to be solved.
The next step is to be sure you aren’t solving a problem faced by 1, or just 10 people in the world. You want the universe of people who need the same problem solved to be big enough to satisfy your aspirations and build a real business.
Find a way to get your solution in front of those people
Once you have a real problem that needs to be solved, figure out how to distribute it before you start writing a single line of code.
Solving a real problem isn’t enough.
If you have a brilliant pill that takes away headaches, but nobody knows about it, you don’t have a business.
You need to find a way to distribute the solution to the right audience.
This could be through blogging, direct email, joining forums and Facebook groups where your audience gathers, ranking for a search term on Google, sponsoring a newsletter sent out to your target customers.
Don’t know where your customers gather? Just ask a few of them what they did when they faced the problem (did they search on Google?). Or ask them what publications or groups or other internet properties they visit regularly.
No rocket science here. A real problem and a means to distribution are great, but you got to be in for the grind.
Try and understand what the hustle means to you. To me, it gives my life meaning. I love to hustle and find ways to move forward with my business. I never feel like it’s a chore. This is a mindset, you can adopt it too.
It is easier to adopt this mindset if you enjoy the problem you’re solving the things you have to do to distribute the solution, and if you like the customers you are serving.
Everything else, like good UI/UX, customer support, brand, logo, etc. can be figured out. But those are built on top of a foundation that is the 3 pillars.