Being a good ‘observer’, the first step to being a good entrepreneur

1, 2021

6 min read

This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I recently visited a tourist destination in the state of Yucatán and witnessed one of those moments that makes you feel proud of “Mexican ingenuity.” It turns out that this city is known for its colonial architecture, which contrasts with a pyramid very close to the center. The structure has a peculiarity: it is divided into two parts. That is, you start to climb and when you think that you reach the top, you realize that after a plain, there is another construction. Upon reaching the first “finish line”, you find yourself with a privileged view of the city center (known for its characteristic yellow color), but also with the top of the pyramid and the view of the endless jungle.

I am talking about all this not because I am promoting tourism to the state, or to show the love I feel for Mexico and its cultural diversity, but because, while we were going up, I began to hear the noise of a drone. When I realized what a spectacular view there was, my first thought was “what a good photo I could take with a drone”. We continued walking and saw a young man of 14 or 15 years, whom we will call “José” from now on, who offered to take pictures of us with the device.

Talking with him, he told us that he is studying high school and that he loves technology. He realized that tourists, who are also many every day, it was “difficult” to take good photos in the place, since they could not capture the entire landscape, so he decided to save money to buy a drone and offer a complementary service to walkers during their free time. During the time we were in the pyramid we saw at least four people (including my dad), who requested his services. Once I took your photos, I offered to send them to you by mail or by Bluetooth to preserve the quality of which, until now, are for me a reminder not only of the visit, but of a young man who knew how to identify an opportunity and generate a solution.

And, reflecting, there are three elements to highlight in this story that can be useful for any entrepreneur or person thinking of starting a business.

First of all, the great ability to observe. Every day we are in contact with many people, different realities and, above all, needs. This that in entrepreneurship we know as “pains” and that can range from very simple things that I currently solve (or not) in some way with which I am not satisfied, to major world problems that are still waiting to be solved. When through observation we have identified a pain, it should also be verified that the market is attractive. A problem that affects five people is not the same as one that affects thousands or millions of them. When we see that there really are an attractive number of individuals who could become customers or users, we could determine that we have identified an opportunity. José probably grew accustomed to living with tourists on a day-to-day basis, living in one of the cities in the state that receives the largest number of visitors a year. It was through observation and direct contact with the “problem” that he identified that it could be an interesting opportunity to offer a solution.

Every day we are in contact with many people, different realities and, above all, needs / Image:

Is identifying an opportunity enough to be an entrepreneur? Of course not. It is necessary, then, to propose solutions. But not just any type, but those that are realistic with our skills and knowledge or, where appropriate, look for expert people who can support us in landing the possibilities that exist. A very important topic that we can learn from this example is the importance of taking into account existing and available solutions, especially those that use technology, as this can make our business more viable and scalable. In this case, José was probably not an expert in flying drones, but he was a fan of technology, which allowed him to know this solution and link it with the need that he had already identified, in addition to being able to understand the operation of these devices in a better way. agile.

Another aspect that we can learn from José’s example is user experience design. In this case, he was able to research the simplest ways to deliver the photo to the client. Are you uncomfortable sharing your email address with a stranger? Nothing happens, it is sent by Bluetooth. Even when he sent me the agreed photos, I saw to my surprise that they were more than those agreed upon. When I questioned him about the reason for sending them to me without an additional fee, he replied that it cost him nothing and that, instead, I would have more options to choose my favorite. That “extra” that he did not hesitate to give me, made me have a better taste in my mouth than I already had.

Although the three lessons that José has given us we apply in entrepreneurship , I consider that they are rather life lessons. First, because observing the needs around us allows us to identify opportunities.

Second, propose solutions within our reach ; Giving the extra does not cost, but it can make a big difference for the customer or user, regardless of whether it is a customer, friend, family member or a stranger.

Undoubtedly, these three attitudes are worth highlighting but, above all, to imitate.

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