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What is Problem-Solution Fit

Daily 60 Second Startup Advice
What is Problem-Solution Fit?

Hello folks! We are here with another episode of "Daily 60 Second Startup Advice." In the ever-evolving landscape of innovation and entrepreneurship, one crucial step on the path to success is often overshadowed by the allure of the final destination: Product-Market Fit. We're talking about the Problem-Solution Fit, an essential precursor that paves the way for reaching that coveted destination.


Imagine trying to fit a square peg into a round hole – it's an apt metaphor for the challenges that arise when attempting to align a problem with its ideal solution. However, as we delve into this critical phase, you'll come to understand that when the right fit is found, it's like the missing piece of a puzzle sliding into place.


Problem-Solution Fit holds the key to unlocking innovation and tackling real-world challenges, whether they are intricate business dilemmas or everyday inconveniences. So, let's embark on this journey of exploration, experimentation, and innovation, where we will unravel the intricacies of Problem-Solution Fit and how it propels startups toward the ultimate destination of Product-Market Fit.

Problem-Solution Fit: The Foundation of Innovation for Startups

The journey begins with recognizing that problems exist everywhere, both in the business world and our daily lives. These problems are like puzzles waiting to be solved.


In our 7 Fit Framework Towards Product-Market Fit, we list Customer-Problem Fit as the first step in achieving the 3 pre-launch fits, inspired by the Design Thinking. Defining the early customers and their problems


However, as anyone who's attempted to fit a square peg into a round hole knows, finding the perfect match isn't always straightforward. This is where Problem-Solution Fit comes into play. It's the art of aligning a problem with its ideal solution, and it forms the very foundation of innovation.

In the world of startups and product development, understanding Problem-Solution Fit is like having the key to a treasure chest. It's about identifying a genuine problem, one that people truly care about, and then crafting a solution that not only addresses the issue but does so in a way that resonates with your target audience. It's about making sure your square peg not only fits but also serves a purpose in that round hole.

As a startup team, you also need to make sure that you have the necessary resources to build a "viable" solution. So the critical question here is, is your startup team able to feasibly build a viable solution? To answer this question; you firstly need to apply a feasibility assessment by analyzing your own resources and competencies.  Secondly, you need to explore if the solution you build with your own resources are making your customers happy. 

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The Art of Exploration:
Uncovering Opportunities through Experimentation

To find Problem-Solution Fit, you must embrace the spirit of exploration and experimentation. It's about venturing into the unknown, testing hypotheses, and being open to failure as a stepping stone to Product-Market Fit. If you want to build one of those startups solving real problems, you need to be open for customer feedback that will trigger many iteration (a.k.a test-measure-learn) loops.

This is where creativity flourishes, and breakthroughs happen. Think of it as trying various shapes and sizes of pegs until one seamlessly fits into the round hole. You might not get it right the first time, but each attempt brings you closer to that perfect match. Through experimentation, you'll not only refine your understanding of the problem but also gain insights into what works and what doesn't in your pursuit of a solution.

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The Innovation Puzzle
Piecing Together the Solution

Problem-Solution Fit is like solving a complex puzzle, with each piece representing a part of the overall solution. As you explore and experiment, you'll gather these pieces, and slowly, the picture will become clearer. This phase involves iterative development, refining your solution based on feedback and real-world testing.

Innovation doesn't occur in isolation. It's a collaborative effort that often requires different perspectives and skill sets. Surround yourself with a diverse team that can bring together these various pieces of the puzzle. Each team member contributes to finding the right fit, ensuring that every aspect of the solution aligns perfectly with the problem.


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Problem-Solution Fit vs. Product-Market Fit

Problem-solution fit is the foundation for product-market fit. Without problem-solution fit, it is unlikely that a product will achieve product-market fit.

Here are some key differences between problem-solution fit and product-market fit:

  • Problem-Solution Fit is achieved during the pre-launch phase. This means that before the actual product is launched, a startup needs to achieve Problem-Solution Fit. A startup searches for Problem-Solution Fit with the help of iterations they apply on their MVP.

  • Problem-Solution Fit is a binary proposition, while Product-Market Fit is a spectrum. A product either solves a problem or it doesn't. Product-Market Fit, on the other hand, can range from a small group of passionate users to a large and growing customer base.

Here are some examples of products that have achieved Problem-Solution Fit:

  • The iPhone solved the problem of smartphones being difficult to use.

  • Spotify solved the problem of people having to pay for individual songs.

  • Dropbox solved the problem of people losing their files.

  • Slack solved the problem of teams communicating and collaborating effectively.


The way to grow and achieve Product-Market Fit (PMF) for a startup passes through effective customer acquisition for which Problem-Solution Fit is a pre-requisite.


The startup scene is home to the best Product-Market Fit examples including the iPhone, Spotify, Netflix, Etsy and many more.

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The Wrap-Up: Problem-Solution Fit as a

Pre-requisite Towards Product-Market Fit

As you progress along the path of Problem-Solution Fit, you're not just crafting a solution; you're shaping the destiny of your startup venture. The culmination of this journey is Product-Market Fit, where your solution seamlessly aligns with the needs and desires of your target audience. It's the moment when your square peg not only fits the round hole but is embraced with enthusiasm.

This achievement opens the doors to growth and success for your startup. The opposite is also true; if you cannot achieve problem-solution fit, product-market will be impossible for you to r


During the problem-solution fit phase, your product or service becomes a must-have, and your venture gains momentum. However, remember that this journey is not linear, and the pursuit of Problem-Solution Fit is an ongoing process. Markets change, and so do problems and solutions. Stay nimble, keep experimenting, and continue innovating to maintain that perfect fit.

Full Text of the Video
What Is Problem-Solution Fit?

Hello Everyone,

Today we're going to talk about the problem solution fit; an important step in reaching product market fit.

We know that problems are everywhere, but finding the right solution can be challenging.

It's like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. But when you find the right fit, everything falls into place.

The problem solution fit is the key to unlocking innovation and solving real world challenges.

Whether it's a complex business problem or a simple everyday inconvenience, finding the right fit can lead to game changing solutions.

So keep exploring, experimenting, and innovating until you find that perfect piece that solves the puzzle.

And remember to follow us for more tips and visit our website for valuable resources on startups and building products.

Don't miss out on turning your problem into a successful solution that people will love.

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