There were a lot of entrepreneurship groups at college. People were always talking about business ideas: apps, websites, products, services. Anything that could potentially be used to make a buck.

These groups made me give entrepreneurship a bad name. I got a sense that the people involved were more interested in what being an entrepreneur looked like—owning a business, making money, getting accolades—than actually solving people’s problems.

In reality, the only way you’re ever going to convince somebody to give you money for a product is if that product solves a problem that’s top of mind for them. That idea is what I think entrepreneurship is really about. A good entrepreneur ought to be more interested in other people’s problems than their own.

Further reading:

Update, 2022-03-07: another great blog post discussing this idea is Your Product is Not Their Problem.

Update, 2022-03-28: Paul Graham got this point across in a single tweet: