What do users want? What new things could you build for them? Founders who’ve become billionaires are always eager to talk about that topic. That’s how they became billionaires.

In a market economy, it’s hard to make something people want that they don’t already have. If people knew about this need and were able to satisfy it, there would be no room for startup. That said, it has to be either a new and uncertain need or a new way to satisfy one.

Ask yourself if you’re making something that a lot of people want. It doesn’t have to be now because the product and the market will evolve but in the end, there has to be something with a huge market. Even though the path is usually not obvious, you have to start with a small market first. For example, in 1976, not many people wanted a computer but Steve Woz wanted one. Larry and Sergey wanted to find things online. They were building things they and their peers wanted. Later on, more and more people wanted the same things. The point is, there have to be some people who want what you’re building now and willing to use it even though it’s buggy and they have never heard of you.

As long as you have some users, you can find ways to get more. So, the most important thing is to figure out: Who are your first users? How do you know they want this? At the end of the day, you want to have a deep understanding of your users’ needs. The best way to do that is to talk to them.

Say there’s a path to a big market, the next question is whether you’ll be able to find it. That depends on 3 things: the general qualities of founders (Are they determined? Are they good at building things? Are they brave enough to go alone when things go wrong?), their domain expertise, their relationship (Do they work well together?).

Usually, the most powerful motivator is to be genuinely interested in what you’re building. Some billionaires could have stopped sooner but they keep working because the company is their project and they couldn’t let it go. It’s okay to want money or to look cool. But if you are just doing it for these reasons then it hardly scales. Regardless, it’s important to be authentic.

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