|Being different is scary, yet it separates you from the heard.|
The best businesses are the ones that solve real world problems.
You might say “The best business is the one that turns a profit”. Yes this is partly true. However there are many companies that are founded make no money at all and sell for millions or even a billion dollars. Most of these are tech companies.
However let's not get off topic and look back and see how companies have changed the world by solving problems. I am not going to get into too many details because I could basically write a whole book about it so lets just stick to the main points.
Standard Oil: Established by John D. Rockefeller in the early 1900's. World's most precious commodity. It has been an indispensable commodity for agriculture, transportation, warfare and even light. This has revolutionized people in many aspects of their lives.
Ford: The Ford Motor Company founded by Henry Ford in the early 1900's. He replaced the horse and carriage with the automobile. He changed the way factories manufacture, and applied the line production principle which is used in factories today.
Printing Press: Invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440. It created an Era of it's own called the Printing Revolution. This changed society as a whole. One way to view it is that people became less barbaric thanks to the printing press, indebted to a wide spread of ideas. Another related way is how the printing press created a flow of mass communication, through books that were now affordable to the middle and lower classes.
Remember I discussed how ideas are built on ideas.
Toyota Production Systems: Just in time production began in the 1960's in Japan before it spread to America in the 1980's. This was a way to make just enough products that were purchased by the consumer. Therefore not wasting any money having finished product sit in a warehouse waiting to be sold.
AT&T: The Bell Telephone company founded by Alexander Graham Bell in 1885. The development of a transmitter has changed the way we communicate with each other. Pushing us forward to a computing world.
Google: Founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998. I am sure you can come up with all the reason how it changed our world. It created a faster means of communication, search optimization. Changed the way we advertize and is facilitating a new concept of employees work space. Of course thanks to Google we now have Wikipedia in which it has replaced the century old Encyclopedia.
I can go on and on about various inventions that replace older inventions. Like Thomas Edison's light bulb, Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity, and the Wright brothers with the invention of flight. The purpose of this post is not to fill you with facts that you can Google yourself. Instead it is to help you understand that you too can disrupt and create a business in which you solve an everyday problem.
You don't have to be the next Google, or Apple, or MacDonald, or Ikea. You don't need to change the world. What you can do is focus on solving the simplest of problems and build from that.
If people need it, they will buy it. If people want it they might buy it. If it solves a person's problem they have no choice but to buy it. The idea is not only to create something that solves someone's problem. You can also recreate something that is being used today and make it better, cheaper or faster.
Another note I want to make here is that sometimes people do not know they have a problem because they are used to using something that has worked for them. Raising awareness to their problem will solve half the battle for you.
Apple's Co founder Steve Jobs quoted "A lot of times people don't know what they want until you show it to them." He was right, this is how Apple became one of the richest companies in the world, by showing people what they could be missing out on.
Now this may seem like a post a business owner would read, we can also relate it to non business owners. And that is to be aware of what you have and how it has worked for you. Don't get fooled by those shiny objects. If they don't make your life easier if you do buy, buy with discretion.
All of theses were not only problem solving but they were also disruptive to the current way of living and doing business. Life would not be as advanced as we have it today.
There are so many quotes I want to write from people who have innovated and helped change the world however we will end with this quote from Adam Hartung “Don't try to think outside the box - get outside the box, then think!”.
What you choose to do with this information is up to you.