From SCORE Richmond by Doug Carleton:

The most important aspect of the lean startup model is finding a customer pain that you can alleviate with your product or service.  If you can – i.e. do it better or faster or cheaper, you may have something significant on your hands.

Let’s start with one of America’s biggest problems – getting old.  The percentage of the American population over the age of 65 is continuing to grow – on a nonstop pace.  Medicare is using technology – telemedicine, in a pilot program to give seniors more options than going to a hospital emergency room.  An example of using telemedicine is that ambulance crews might be able to use certain treatments at home working under the supervision of a doctor in a remote location.  This could potentially free them up to focus on more serious emergencies.  If the pilot program proves successful Medicare projects that it could ultimately save as much as $500 million dollars a year.

On the local level a startup, Naborforce, is providing, through a technology, platform a way for seniors to sign up for assistance from neighbors or others with many of the simple things in life that most of us take for granted – picking up or returning books to the library, shopping trips, help with pets, even just companionship.  To create a wide network of people interested in helping seniors would be extremely difficult under normal circumstances.  But with the benefit of technology to create an app to do it, a major pain for seniors can be eliminated.

Using technology, another startup created a peer-to-peer mobile payment service to help merchants without the necessity of having things like point-of-sale systems or physical presence.  It could open up sales opportunities for many businesses that are in places or at events where they could sell but don’t have the infrastructure.

And one more – for young people finding affordable car insurance can be a little time-consuming and more than a little pain.  Suppose you could just scan your driver’s license with your phone and bypass the time it takes to answer the many questions on insurance applications and have quotes from three insurance companies within a very short time, all with just your phone using the company’s proprietary software.

I can do it better….