Solve your problems for other people

Fifteen years ago, my wife and I started a direct-to-consumer, niche publishing business.

Back in those days, we often created our own solutions to our biggest operating pain points – out of necessity.

We sourced good, reasonably-priced contract design talent before Upwork or Fiverr.

We found advertising buyers in large organizations before Sales Navigator was even a twinkle in LinkedIn’s eye.

We built a remote-access, multi-user database to create our flagship annual restaurant guide, long before Airtable.

And, we cobbled together our own CMS and ecommerce front-end before Shopify.

Our publishing business was fun to build, and it helped a lot of people. It was also profitable and had very healthy margins, in a notoriously low-margin business.

But, in retrospect, it’s easy to see that we were so focused on executing in our own little niche that we easily missed a dozen or more opportunities to solve much bigger problems in route to building much bigger products/companies.

What problems are you working on right now that could lead you to even bigger opportunities?

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