Want it or Need it?


When setting up a startup, the above is one of the first few questions that should be answered. Is the product/service that you plan to provide, addressing a customer’s want, or need? We do all however have our own vision of the customer’s wants and needs. This is really not something that we should presume to know and this important data should be obtained directly from prospective customers. This discovery process will help us to understand where a customer’s wants are originating from. For example, when a customer says he wants access to all his customer’s information on his mobile phone, we need to explore the why. It is in these follow up questions that we learn about the actual needs of the customer, which get subsequently translated into wants.

It is imperative that as a new business we address actual needs, rather than the “nice to have products/services”. When there is no urgent requirement that is being fulfilled by your product/service, it is that much harder to convince your prospects to buy it. This also places a massive burden on the limited resources a startup has to work with, and can be detrimental to it’s success. It is hence advisable and important before starting any new venture, to determine whether your business is actually catering to a need in the market place.

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