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Part 2: The Pain Point

Defining your pain point.  My first post was to try and get you into the right mindset required for Prototyping and getting your app out there, prior to getting into development. Once you have accepted the need for a prototype & validation cycle – the next step is to actually develop this prototype.

Let’s now get down to the specifics – how do we actually go about doing this?

We start – by first identifying the pain point.

What is a pain point?

What is the annoyance or problems you are actually trying to solve? It could be something minor, or alternatively a very large gap in the market that hasn’t been addressed yet. What is that pain point of the customer that you are trying to fulfil and fix?

I can’t stress enough, on how knowing the pain point you’re targeting is essential. A lot of startups don’t quite get it – this is something that needs to be fed into the very fabric of your business, the mission statement, if you may.

Sometimes it’s a major function that a client just cannot do without. I know of this startup that does CMMS – Computerized Maintenance Management Software. They bring the new age real-time widget AI-powered dashboards to factories for managing their maintenance schedules. The ramifications of a maintenance failure are HUGE as one of their clients faces losses of 100k dollars an hour (gasp!) if the assembly line develops a fault, all because one bottom line worker forgot to oil a cog somewhere.

Another startup I know of promotes eCommerce Sales by providing ready to use widgets on eCommerce sites that show recommendations based on a user’s browsing history and preferences.

Yet another example is the delivery apps – food, post, supplies, what have you. The pain point here is a minor inconvenience – I can’t make the time to go out to buy my groceries today so I’m just gonna order it from the app.

Do you see the broad range of use cases in all of these?

Ranging from “absolutely cannot function without” to “minor lifestyle enhancers”, the variety of pain points being solved is vast.

So, how do you identify the pain point of your app?

Think a bit on your idea. What is it and who are the potential users?

For example, you want to build an app to connect pet-sitters to pet-owners. What is the main problem that these pet owners & sitters have, why are they looking for the service you want to offer?

Pet Owners:
Need reliable and punctual pet sitters for the times they leave the house.

Pet Sitters:
They need to make money doing something they love. They’d like the exposure to their skills – Pet training, walking, etc.

Let’s list down some of the why’s of each:

Why do Pet Owners need sitters?

What are their pain points?
Not knowing where to find a sitter who is:

Do you now see why having this identified is beneficial?

It helps you know the general direction in which to build your app and to market it.

Now that we have identified the pain points, we need to test them out.

Prototyping is all about validating!  (Read Why Your Business Idea is Worthless, and Do I have a Great Startup Idea? or take The Startup Coach’s Idea Validation Workshop )

What I mean is, how do we know which are the most important of these factors?

We shall get to the validation steps in the upcoming posts – watch this space for more of those. As of now I’d like you to think about your product and define what the pain points are. Feel free to let us know on our Facebook Page or even email it in to us!

This is Part 2 of a 5-part series about prototyping your app. If you’ve just landed here, read part 1: Prototyping your App Idea here.

Note: I use the word “app” in broad sense to mean any product from a mobile app to a full-fledged web application, could even be a offline software or a physical product.

About the Author

Rashmi Bachani - TorontoStarts blogger

Rashmi Bachani
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Rashmi has a bit of startup experience, having been on the founding team of a couple and gets what the life and daily struggles of an entrepreneur are like. She believes in prototyping & testing your business idea before getting into production. Her thoughts? “Essentially at the start, you need the confidence to know this business will work, and that you can and should invest your money (and time) into it.”.

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