✔ It's all about passion! - Passion 2: Solution [part 1]

Note: This is the 8th excerpt from my book "It's all about passion" which I wrote and shared as a gift to my readers and my Nozbe customers on my 35th birthday. You can get the entire digital ebook (PDF, Mobi or ePub) for free or buy from Amazon (all proceeds go to charity).

I will be publishing the entire book as a series of blog posts over the next weeks here every Friday, so you can read it bit by bit (I know you might be too busy to read an entire book at once). I'm also doing it to be able to "talk to you" about each chapter in the comments section below, so make sure to post your feedback, questions and your passion-related stories in the comments. Thank you for your passion!

"It's all about passion!" - The 7 types of passion I discovered over 7 years of running my productivity startup

It's all about passion - 8

Passion for a Solution

"Visionary people face the same problems everyone else faces; but rather than get paralyzed by their problems, visionaries immediately commit themselves to finding a solution." - Bill Hybels

Just do it. Solve it.

This is the key component to the success of a startup. After all, the startup in theory should be solving some real-life problems and making people's lives all around the world easier.

That's why it's so important to understand your startup's mission as way to solve a particular problem the best way possible. To make sure you're really doing it right, you need to be truly passionate about solving this problem.

Scratch your own itch

The best way to find a problem to solve is to actually look at the stuff that's bothering you and see if you can make it better. Just see if you can scratch what's itching you the most. Usually that's the best start. If you're genuinely interested in solving the particular problem, chances are you'll have more passion and drive to pursue a solution and maybe even build a startup business around it.

Just see what's really bothering you and do some research for available solutions out there. See what works and what doesn't and what is really popular. Chances are you will be thinking: "I know I can do better than that!". If that's the case, go for it.

When you're passionate about the solution, you'll know exactly where your product will be headed. You'll just instinctively know which features help you build a stronger and better solution and which don't. You won't feel the urge to solve all the world's problems with your startup. You'll stay focused on your solution.

This worked for me. It's exactly how it happened to me with Nozbe.

Inspired by a problem to solve - the Nozbe story

As mentioned in the previous chapter, I built my very first "internal" version of Nozbe over one weekend "on the side" of my real e-commerce consultancy business. I did it, because I couldn't find a better solution to my "problem of not getting enough done". I tried to use Microsoft Outlook, installed a bunch of to-do apps for Windows (yes, I was on a PC then, only later to switch to the Mac... and now to the iPad... but that's a different story) and checked some online project management applications. Some were really promising but the idea of filling out a 10-step form to add an task seemed like an overkill. I thought I could do better than that.

Over the next months I kept using my tool and continued tweaking it and making it a little better. It didn't occur to me to actually offer it to anyone else as a product. I was past my startup dream anyway.

In 2006 the Web2.0 movement and the rise of many JavaScript techniques (called generally "Ajax") started taking off significantly and caught my attention. I wanted to learn this new stuff and re-wrote my app to support these new technologies. It was so cool that in mid 2006 I decided to stop being so selfish and start preparing the app to show it to the world. It took me another half of the year to finish it up (I was working on Nozbe after hours, only a few hours a day in the evenings while still doing my daily client work).

In February 2007 Nozbe launched. Because I was active in the "productivity community" in the US, many of my "online friends" actually rushed to try it out and they liked the fact that it was so simple and so easy to use. I was happy my idea caught on initially and it gave me hope and motivation to keep on making it better.

It was still my side-project. I would continue working for my clients until around 4 pm every day and then I would switch to making Nozbe better and interacting with growing community of my users. Only a year into it I decided to take the plunge and "fire" all my day-job customers to focus on Nozbe entirely. The rest, as they say, is history.

"There are lots of good ideas, but it’s the combination of a great idea with the personal ownership and passion that leads to persistent execution of the idea that ultimately wins." - Fred Wilson, venture capitalist, blogger at AVC

To be continued... or get the book free and continue reading :-)

Question: What is your favorite app or online serivce? Does it solve one of you problems?

Posted on Friday, September 26, 2014 (passionbook,startup,solution)

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