Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Inspiration Strikes Again

I continually state that inspiration comes in many forms. Typically, though, the best inspiration comes in figuring out how to solve a problem. The problem provides the solution. Here's another example of how inspiration grew into a viable business, excerpted from an Inc.com article: "In 2007, roommates Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia had trouble paying their rent. Today they announced that the business born of that need received funding that values their company about $1 billion." (Note: Whether or not this valuation holds up and grows over the next 5 years remains to be seen. However, this is obviously a great business that can be highly profitable...and thus have strong market value.)

"The backstory: To raise the cash to pay their landlord, Chesky and Gebbia decided to rent out their San Francisco apartment to conference-goers seeking an alternative to hotels in their area. They pocketed $800. Then they built a business, Airbnb, helping other people do the same. Of course it wasn't a straight line to success. They struggled to break even, attended Y Combinator's startup bootcamp, eventually landed funding which helped them expand and now have more than 100,000 listings in more than 16,000 cities and 186 countries."

The best businesses offer a service or product that provides a solution to pain that their customer is experiencing. That's why inspiration often comes out of solving problems. As a business owner (or aspiring business owner) when you solve a problem for yourself, sometimes you realize that others likely have the same issue and could benefit from your solution.



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