What we’re reading: Fall in love with the problem, not the solution.
Founding a startup is anything but easy. So if you’re dreaming of developing your own product, you need to really believe in your vision, and love what you do.
In his book “Fall in Love with the Problem — not the Solution,” Waze founder Uri Levine makes the case that committing yourself to solving a real-life issue for the public is the best way to achieve success in the startup world. Levine has created a handbook for founders to help them build flourishing businesses, all with important insights from his own experience as an entrepreneur.
Some important tips from the book really hit home for our team. Take falling in love with the problem, for example. Levine asks his readers to ponder what problems need solving, and for whom and why. Because when you’re driven to solve a problem day in and day out, everything you do is in the service of finding its solution.
Then there’s the idea that entrepreneurship and the cultivation of business ideas is like falling in love. You know how you date and date, and then one day, you just know!? Well, according to Levine, that’s exactly what it’s like to come up with a great idea and found a company around it. You can’t think about anything else, you want to devote all your time to your new main squeeze, and you’re committed to making it work.
But what if it doesn’t work? In this case, Levine says that it’s better to fail fast than to fail slow. Failing fast gives you the chance — and the momentum — to learn from your mistakes and try again (and again) until you finally succeed. Failure is an important aspect of learning and improving — no founder has ever achieved great things without some serious failures. What separates successful entrepreneurs from the rest is that they persevere, using their failures as teaching moments on their journey to success.
Fall in love with the problem will also teach you some important lessons on building an all-star team — and how to know when you need to let someone go. But the core message is all about grit, determination, and yes, falling in love and giving your complete attention to solving the problem you’ve set out to solve. It’s something that requires determination and focus. Levine tells the story of why he decided to forgo a million-dollar-a-year deal with a trucking company and stay dedicated to commuters. “The answer is very simple: focus. A startup, in order to be successful, needs to do one thing and only one thing right, and to increase the likelihood of doing so, it needs to say no to everything else. Focus is not only about what we are doing; it is about what we are not doing!”
Check out Uri Levine’s book here, and share your thoughts with us on social media!