Naveen Jain - WSJ
Story of the Week, November 2013
Business Advice for Entrepreneurs
“Find the pain to sell the aspirin”
In Silicon Valley, you start a company not to produce
the product. You start a company to get the seed
As soon as you get the seed funding, your next goal is
to get the series A funding.
You get the series A funding, the next thing you start
focusing on is getting Series B funding.
You’re really focused on what you’re trying to do.
You’re really enjoying the journey. Really focused
on what your customers want.
You’re always thinking about funding.
In fact, the funding comes to people who are creating
the product that people want.
So if you go out and focus on building the product
that your customers want – the best venture
capitalist is your customer.
I can tell you I’ve started many companies and I
didn’t start when I was rich. We started the
company never taking any VC company. You know
Because it started to give us the idea of how do we
run the frugal entrepreneurship? How do we
create the product that people want to pay for?
When you are constantly looking for money, you
build a product to give away the product. You don’t
know how to make money.
When you’re using your own money or your friends’
and family money you start to say – “what can I
build that people are willing to pay for? If my
customers don’t want it, why am I building it? Am I
solving the pain point?”
So one of the best advice I can give entrepreneurs is,
it’s really, really easy to sell the aspirin if you can
identify the pain that a customer has.
What happens is, most entrepreneurs go and say
“Well, Sir – I think you really have a pain and I have
And he says “But I don’t feel the pain” and he (the
entrepreneur) says “but I think it’s happening, you
should really take the aspirin”.
And that’s why they continue selling the things.
When you have a pain, you seek out that aspirin.
So our thing is to identify the pain point and make
sure that your aspirin solves that pain point and
people will seek you out – you don’t have to sell it.
Naveen Jain - Background
• Founder: Moon Express, inome, World
Innovation Inst, TalentWise, Intelius &
• Board Member: XPrize & Singularity Univ.
• Connect: Naveen Jain on Linked in or Naveen
Jain on Twitter.