Over the past year I have been working with a wonderful team of people to develop the first 10.10.10 program. What is “10.10.10?” It’s a program with three key components:
- 10 problems with significant market opportunity
- 10 prospective CEOs from all over the country, each looking for their next big thing
- 10 days together in a startup community that serves as a hosting environment for developing market solutions and giving birth to new startup companies
So, 10.10.10 is ten problems, ten CEOs and ten days, and the first 10.10.10 program will be held in 2014 in Denver, Colorado from February 18-28th.
But this post is about problems. More specifically, it is about the types of problems that entrepreneurs might choose to address – a kind of taxonomy.
The impetus for this desire to classify problems derives from my thinking about the sorts of problems that are most suitable for 10.10.10. And for me this inquiry begins with three primary stakeholders – the customer, the entrepreneur and the investor.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far. I’m posting this here to invite you to participate in helping us to come up with clearer, better ways of thinking about the kinds of problems that would become the focus for 10.10.10.
Categories, Classes or Types of Problems
Efficiency. Current solutions are costly due to inefficiencies. These inefficiencies may take any of the following forms:
- Lack of info or data
- Info or data unavailable in a timely manner
- High cost or scarse resources currently used to provide solution (product or service) vs low cost or widely available resources
Invention. The solution to the problem does not yet exist.
- A working solution to the problem has not been articulated or implemented.
- The technology does not yet exist. At all.
- The technology has not sufficiently matured (but it clearly will x years in the future).
Distribution. Solutions are available, but existing distribution channels are inadequate or ineffective.
- The problem affects many people or businesses, but (a) only a few would be willing to pay for a solution or (b) people / businesses would pay an amount that is inadequate to cover the cost plus reasonable margin of profit for delivering the product or service.
- The problem affects only a small number of people or businesses.
- The problem occurs irregularly or sporadically.
- Repeat uses of the solution (product or service) are difficult to predict.
- Solutions exist or could be imagined and developed, but they require many elements to “go right.”
- Requirements for a fully working solution have not yet been published and tested.
- The suppliers of the necessary components have not yet been persuaded to make their components compatible.
- No one has yet organized and tested the constituent elements of a solution in a way that delivers a complete, working solution to the marketplace.
Scope & Scale. Testing a solution is possible only after massive investment with a concomitant unacceptable level of risk.
That’s what I have come up with so far. What other useful approaches would you suggest? Please keep in mind that we are classifying the types of problems that 10.10.10′s CEOs would be motivated to address by investing the next chapter of their lives in a startup that develops and markets a solution.
I am eager to see what you come up with!