Problems And Profits

There are those people that care most about solving a problem that is important to them and there are those that care most about making a profit.

Whichever one you are, if you are to go far, eventually you will find need of the other.

You will learn to speak in their language.

Those that seek profits will put words to a big problem they can solve: to help people, to provide jobs, to create beautiful products that people love, to connect the world or to create equality.

Those that seek to solve a problem will find ways to demonstrate the potential of a profit to investors; market potential, owning the data, upsell potential or the leverage of first mover advantage.

Those lines will blur in time. You might lose track of whether the profits you make justify the energy you put into solving your important problem or whether solving that problem is how you justify yourself for the profits you are making.

Your profits and problem might eventually be at odds – in the short term or the long. You may bump up against a fiduciary responsibility. You may lose connection with those you were once championed as the demand for growth pushes you beyond them. You might live to see someone new become what you once were as you become what you once stood against. Or you might watch someone else obtain your profits first, unencumbered by solving the problems you care about.

You may do the impossible and balance the two. You might maintain your strength and focus on speaking the other language. You might do it so well that over time you forget which camp you are in yourself. Perhaps the problem has changed. Perhaps your understanding of what is needed has. Perhaps you have yourself changed along the way.

There are those people that care most about solving a problem that is important to them and there are those that care most about making a profit. Why did you start? How will you finish?

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