Solve problems that matter to you
I recently went out with old friends from University I had not met in a while. We had a very vivid conversation about what defines a good problem to solve. It got me thinking a lot, and I came to a simple conclusion.
A good problem to solve is a problem that matters to you.
Let's look at food delivery, for instance.
Because of my experience in foodtech, I am pitched food delivery companies of all sorts quite often. My answer is almost always the same: food delivery is a very contextual problem.
In London, Deliveroo is a clear winner for premium restaurant delivery. Just-Eat and Hungryhouse are solid brands for small takeaways. Uber and Amazon got into the game, and will definitely make it even harder for new entrants. Eatfirst's pivot to chilled food and Pronto recent failure are serious warnings.
Is food delivery a good problem to solve in London? Probably not, unless you go after a specific niche like my friend Kay is doing with Afroexpress.
In Lagos, maps and postcodes are approximative. Traffic is notoriously nightmarish. Cash reigns in transactions. The middle class is hungry for convenience services. Yet, logistical challenges make it hard to serve them.
Is food delivery a good problem to solve in Lagos? In my opinion, probably yes. At the very least, much more so than in London.
Food delivery does matter to me, but more so in a tropical city such as Lagos than a Western city such as London. In your case, it could be anything, and you can fix it with small actions.
There's no such thing as a small problem. Something profoundly annoys or shocks you in your environment, and is a good problem to solve for you.
You hate seeing dirty streets? Pick empty cans on your way and drop them in the nearest bin. I guarantee that like-minded people will follow you and you will ignite a movement.
You are disgusted by bikes parking at the entrance of your area? Gather your neighbours and build a specific parking space for them. It doesn't have to be big initially: think from zero to one.
What is that thing that annoys you? Do you want to fix it? Feel free to get in touch, I'll be happy to help.