Successful startups develop great products. Duh. Great products create a large value gap and that is your ultimate product goal. But what is my version of the value gap?

I see so many ideas for startups that are well intended. Most come from a problem that you as the new founder see in your daily work. Some come from an observation about how people are operating with the idea that you can help change that operation for the better.

The first thing I want to know is, how are they solving this problem today. This is your baseline. The next question is for you to share with me how your product/service vision compares to the baseline.

Between the baseline of how your target customer is solving their problem today and your future product is what I call the value gap.

I got thinking about this when I came across a quote from Frank Zappa (noted musician and raconteur in the 70’s. Look him up, he was special.) Frank said, ““without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”

Let me spin this into entrepreneur speak, without a wide deviation from the baseline to your product, it is just not worth exploring this as a business. Your target customer will most likely never switch to your product for a small value gap.

Your goal should be to identify a potential product/service where the value gap is huge AND obvious to your future customer. Doing so makes everything so much easier when you start to sell and market your product.

Executing your early business building with a heavy dose of customer discovery can begin to ferret out the potential value gap and hopefully set your product and your business up for huge success.