Sub-surface problems
[ business , ideas ]

Tech entrepreneurs often inhabit a very narrow demographic, and they often scratch their own itch or solve problems they see around them.

Because of that, there are a disproportionate amount or productivity and dating apps out there. These problems that a majority of entrepreneurs have I call “surface problems”.

With good timing and a novel approach, there is a lot of money to be made, but you’ll have to deal with a ton of competition.

The alternative to solving surface problems is to solve… you guessed it… “sub-surface problems”. These are problems you can’t know about without being an insider in a specific scene or industry.

Often they require insider knowledge, which heightens the bar for entry.

For example, if you aren’t a magician you won’t know what magicians need or how much money magicians spend on magic tricks and fancy playing cards. The answer is A LOT.

Solving these problems come with a bunch of advantages:

  1. Less sexy or more fringe often means less competition.
  2. Approaching an industry with beginner’s eyes can give you a leg-up. What looks obvious to you might be foreign to everyone else.
  3. If you’re lucky, the scene or industry can go mainstream, giving you a huge advantage over the incoming competition. A great example of this is computers. Back in the day, they were the interests of scientists and hobbyists. Today they power our entire economy.

Instead of building another me-to app, flirt with fringe ideas and interests. Eventually, you’ll bump into product ideas with highly motivated markets ready to take your money.