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Human Centered Entrepreneurship: The BUILD Process
Before designing solutions to meet needs of
the community, entrepreneurs must build
deep empathy to UNDERSTAND both
individuals they are designing for and the
system in which they reside.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Theory in psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in 1943 still holds relevance today. He identified that there
are a range of human needs that extend from most basic physical needs to safety to love/belonging to esteem to
self-actualization. Once one level is fulfilled, it enables people to seek the next level of fulfillment. Levels are:
Physiological, Safety, Love/Belonging, Esteem, Self-actualization.
What is a need?
Needs can be objective and physical, such as food,
or they can be subjective and psychological, such
as the need for self-esteem.
Needs are something that would improve one’s
experience that can be relate to physiology, safety,
love/belonging, esteem or self-actualization
A need is NOT a solution. A need is a general
phrasing from which MANY solutions can come.
What is a want?
Wants are tangible or intangible desires that are
inherently unnecessary, but seemingly fulfilling.
Wants are usually very narrow and often
misguided; as such, truly satisfying a want is
difficult. While needs can be met and satiated,
wants are typically unquenchable.
A want is a solution, though, if may not be the
best solution available.
"If I had asked people what they
wanted, they would have said faster
If Henry Ford had approached the
challenge with a solution based mindset
he would have found a way to make
But because he approached it with a needs
based mindset, he delivered a better
way to get from point A to B.
Approaches to Delivering Solutions
Need based mindset
Solution (Wants) based
• The need leads to multiple
• Does not assume a single
• Provides “stickiest”
solutions and highest
• Working within defined
• Limited opportunities and
• Must adapt existing solutions
to the need.
• Solution is often a luxury,