Do startups really have to solve a problem to succeed? What about SnapChat?


Is solving a "problem" absolutely required in an idea to build a startup around? What about something like SnapChat. Did they really solve a problem?

What about when you're creating a new market where people don't even know they have that problem?

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asked Mar 19 '14 at 15:59
Christian Eubanks
60 points
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2 Answers


Entertainment apps are most often not solving an actual problem, per se. I guess you could say that "killing time" is a problem in a way.

For SaaS startups, however, solving a real problem is the core requirement. No one is going to use a product that you make that doesn't address any problem they have.

This doesn't necessarily have to be a problem that they realize they have. When you are creating a new market, you're basically showing people that there is a better way to do something. You are showing a problem that people didn't know existed.

answered Mar 19 '14 at 20:46
Rocco Schmidt
308 points


Your odds of success are exponentially higher if you're solving a real problem.

Otherwise you're basically throwing things against the wall hoping something sticks.

answered Mar 20 '14 at 04:39
Nishank Khanna
4,265 points

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