Focusing On The Right Problems
If entrepreneurship is about problem-solving, then entrepreneurs must focus on the right problems. So how might we help entrepreneurs focus on solving the right problems that everyday people face? Why do we have so many entrepreneurs mimicking what they see in Silicon Valley or read about in Inc. Magazine? Why is it that we have a major problem (esp in tech) that entrepreneurs are solving problems that are not important to society, but are relevant to only the wealthier consumers in America?
Recently, Bryce Butler of Access Ventures and Ross Baird of Village Capital discuss some of these questions around entrepreneurs focusing on the right problems. In this short video, Baird gets right to the heart of the matter stating, “People solve what they understand.” For one, if we had more diverse entrepreneurs at the table, the problems they are tackling and the solutions they unveil, would be different. “Because we have most people in America in a position unable to start a business, the sample size is limited to the upper end of the income spectrum,” and we are therefore left with a heavy emphasis on improved leisure and entertainment. Watch the full discussion below:
In the United States, 78% of venture funding goes to three US cities; only 5% goes to women; less than 1% goes to people of color. Therefore, in order for us to start addressing some of the major issues we face in society, we may need to open up the table to folks historically left out. According to TechCrunch, “it’s time to start putting the hard-earned money of working-class Americans into vehicles that serve them.”
If we really want to start seeing businesses solve problems that matter to a broader swath of society, we need more entrepreneurs at the table. We need solutions that are different. We need to resource people to solve the problems they understand.
If you enjoyed this discussion about entrepreneurs focusing on the right problems then consider learning about a similar discussion about inclusive entrepreneurship and unlocking capital for minority entrepreneurs. You should also consider subscribing to receive updates as we publish more videos discussing similar topics.
Written by Bryce Butler @brycebutler