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Unsolved problems

The second approach to identifying business ideas is to recognize problems and find ways to solve them. Problems can be experienced or recognized by people through their jobs, hobbies, or everyday activities. For example, in 1991, Jay Sorensen dropped a cup of coffee in his lap because the paper cup was too hot. This experience led Sorensen to invent an insulating cup sleeve and to start a company to sell it. Since launching his venture, the company, Java Jacket, has sold over 1 billion cup sleeves.

Advances in technology often result in problems for people who can’t use the technology in the way it’s sold to the masses. For example, some older people find traditional cell phones hard to use—the buttons are small, the text is hard to read, and it’s often hard to hear someone on a cell phone in a noisy room. To solve this problem, GreatCall is producing a cell phone called the Jitterbug, which is designed specifically for older users. The Jitterbug features large buttons, easy-to-read text, and a cushion that cups around the ear to improve sound quality. Another company, Firefly Mobile, is now selling a cell phone designed specifically for tweens, ages 8 to 12. The phone weighs only two ounces and is designed to fit into a kid’s hand. ....


  

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