On the importance of pain points.

  • May 23rd, 2022

Behind the invention of every successful product, there is a story about a person whose needs were not being met by the available industry standard of that time. Problems are what inspire us to innovate.

While this fact remains at the forefront of the mind during the ideation and prototyping stage, it often gets pushed to the wayside, sometime between proof of concept and commercialization. At E.B. Howard Consulting, many of the clients we work for are creating proposals to seek non-dilutive funding for innovative products. Often, a stipulation of winning an award is that the company must explain, in detail, how it plans to earn money with the product once it is fully developed. To describe this plan with accuracy requires customer discovery, which involves finding the type of person or company you think would buy your product and asking them if they would and why or why not.

A sales or commercialization plan is required for any proposal or pitch seeking funds for product development. To understand the best way to sell a lot of your products quickly, you must understand the customer pain points. Pain points are things that make people unhappy enough that they will part with their money to make the problems go away. Since people, generally speaking, do not like to part with their money, products must identify and solve some nearly insurmountable difficulties that a large group of people faces frequently. Luckily, the world is rife with problems, so identifying one should be fairly straightforward.

“The characteristic feature of the loser is to bemoan, in general terms, mankind’s flaws, biases, contradictions, and irrationality—without exploiting them for fun and profit.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Once you have identified the pain point and how your product can solve it for potential customers, the next step is to test your hypothesis on actual people. Find people you think could use your product and ask them how they feel about it. Would it solve their problems? How much would they be willing to pay for it? If you have correctly identified the pain point your product solves, the interviewees should validate your hypothesis. You can then use information from your customer discovery to support your sales plan and revenue predictions. Identifying pain points and using supporting facts to demonstrate marketability will increase investor confidence in your business and product.


We help high-growth startups find and apply for non-dilutive funding. Schedule a consult call with us HERE.

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