Solving the problem

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Hang on a minute. I thought we’d finished with the problem section and moved on? What’s the problem doing back here in the solution section? You’re right. Once the problem (bad guy) is laid out, it’s all about the startup’s (good guy) solution, and making sure it’s clear, concise and most importantly, tackles the actual problem itself.

There are plenty of pitch decks out there where the problem is clear but the solution doesn’t address the problem as it really is. It’s the bad guy/good guy equivalent of Batman pitching for funds for superhero activity, going on and on about how the Riddler is making people’s lives miserable and then coming up with a weapon that would actually be better at taking out that weird Penguin guy*.

Holy gadgets, Batman!

It’s also important that the solution is elegant and simple, not overcomplicated as this can make market adoption hugely challenging, create new problems and provide an opportunity for competitors to enter with a simple solution… Batman building 14 top tech gadgets with multiple features, all with GPS tracking, Artificial Intelligence and on Blockchain… meanwhile Superman flies in and punches the Riddler in the face, saving the day.

The problem makes everyone feel the pain, the solution then instantly answers the issue head on. It’s believable, it’s realistic and it’s understandable. Founders often approach it as an elevator pitch, so it should be something that can be said in a very short space of time, understood by everyone and show that it’s the right solution to the problem.

A good solution slide should:

  • answer the question: “what do you do?”
  • include information on what the company is selling/building
  • address the problem
  • focus on benefits over features
    (Riddler dead or behind bars, everyone lives in peace, is happy, feels safe vs 10mm, automatic, GPS, AI, Blockchain, etc.)

So just in case you’re not a DC comic book fan, let’s have a look at some real world examples…

*You may be wondering why we didn’t use the Joker as our example here, probably the most well-known and obvious choice of bad guy if the startup were Batman. In short, the Joker is the immortal embodiment of chaos and exists to be the perfect arch nemesis to Batman. In theory, the Joker would go away if Batman went away. But in startup terms, that’s probably not the point founders want to be making.