I spent yesterday with an interesting Danish entrepreneur named Christian. After lunch we got on the subject of disruption.
He’s started a number of different companies. Currently he’s focused on POS software. It’s radically decreasing costs for restaurants in Denmark. It turns out there are 18,000 restaurants in Denmark. I’d guessed 5,000. I’m a fan of New Nordic cuisine at places like Noma so I’m glad I was wrong.
He shared an insight that I thought I would pass on.
This advice goes against the tendency of entrepreneurs. We focus on the solution. That’s what we talk about with potential partners. It’s natural. We spend all of our time thinking about the solution and creating it. But for our potential partners the power lies in the question.
For Vendo it would be, “Is the price you set (ex. $30) the best price for every potential customer?” Of course, it isn’t. The question gives the reason for the pricing disruption we are bringing to the billing industry. If we just focused on the solution we would say, “We’ve built incredible price discrimination technology that allows you to price different for each consumer.” Well, if the potential partner hasn’t identified price discrimination as a need then she wouldn’t be interested. But starting with the question captures the imagination of most people. It creates curiosity about how you are solving the problem.
What’s the simple question your company is answering?