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Step 3: Solution

The Five Steps from Passion to Side Hustle to Freedom

Now we have defined the problem and have examples of three people who have the problem that we can solve, we think about the technology we are going to use to solve the problem. If it’s not possible to solve the problem with technology, it’s time to stop. That rarely happens though – we just modify our solution and make it simpler.

Prototype & Minimum Viable Product

Once we have completed the Discovery and Problem stage we start designing our solution. Why do we wait so long? So that we have really understood the problem that hundreds of people have (rather than just a few). We may need to create a prototype. A prototype proves that it is possible to solve the problem (i.e. it is physically possible to create our solution). Having created a prototype (which you could never sell) we design the Minimum Viable Product – that is the minimum product that is required in order to get sales. This specification is what will be used to discover the cost of manufacture.

Business Model

The big question – how are you going to make money? Are you going to sell a product and never see the customer again? Or will you sell them a product and make money on the consumables (e.g. Nespresso and Printers)? Or are you going to give the service away free and charge for upgrades and improvements (e.g. many games apps)? Do you hope to make money through advertising? Now is the time to do a “thought experiment” for each model to see which resonates and makes most sense.


Who is going to help you make your idea an reality? If it’s a product, who is going to manufacture it? How is it going to get to your customer? If it is a service, how is the service going to be supplied? Do you need software to be written? What about those people who can influence your customers to buy your product? How do you build a following? We review the characteristics of a partnership – how equal it is, what is the value exchange, how does it work across international boundaries, etc.

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