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What is a Solution Statement?

It's the 'How' to your 'why' and the time to state your brilliant idea.

January 8, 2021 Β· Niek van Riel

What is a solution statement? 🀷🏼

Your solution statement should be a direct explanation of what opportunities there are to solve the problem that you stated earlier in your problem statement. It's the "how" to your "why" and the time to state your brilliant idea. Your problem statement should set the stage for your solution to shine.

Let's look at a successful startup, Lime, who found a great solution to an existing problem. Lime is an e-scooter and bike-sharing startup that, since its launch in 2017, has rapidly grown into one of the biggest e-scooter and bike-sharing networks in the world. In their pitch, the founders said they were poised to change urban transportation as we know it by solving the last-mile problem. This is where people consider the nearest bus or train station is too far to walk and too close to drive, adding other factors such as weather (too hot/cold), terrain (hills), and time, so they end up just driving straight to their work, university, shops, etc. Lime managed to make that 'last mile' a lot more accessible and manageable for commuters while reducing the number of cars and pollution. They had a straightforward solution to an apparent problem.

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When it comes to actually define your solution in your startup plan, it needs to be kept short, simple, engaging, to the point, and easy to understand. Steer clear of complicated technical terms. Rule of thumb? Even your grandma should get it. In the case of Lime, their solution statement would have sounded a little like this:

β€œPeople need access to an alternative transport option that provides an easy, convenient, fast and sustainable way to get to main transport links without the need to drive or walk”.

We used the case of Netflix, in our problem article. we did an excellent job explaining how painfully inconvenient going to a video store is. We want our solution statement to connect directly to that problem:

Problem: "Going to the video store requires fighting traffic, wandering the aisles, and waiting in long lines just to get a single movie."

Solution: "Netflix allows anyone to enjoy thousands of titles streamed directly to their home or delivered to their mailbox."

How do you frame the solution for your startup? πŸ–Ό

Defining your solution can take time. For some, it might not come as naturally or easily as they had first imagined. But don’t fret. It will come at a good time if you understand how to frame it properly. How you do this early in the idea stage can be the difference between success and failure later on. Success is clearly what you are aiming for, so what are the steps you should take to successfully frame your solution? You need to be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is your solution offering? 
  • Are you actually solving the problem? 
  • Does the solution create a viable business model? 
  • Is your solution different or unique from your competitors? 

These questions serve as a checklist for yourself to verify whether your solution is appropriate. βœ…

Remember that you want to keep people engaged. Don't exhaust them with long explanations on how your solution works, how you will develop it, and what it will cost; you will have plenty of time for that later. Now that you have successfully defined your solution, you are ready to move on to your Unique Value Proposition.