The Four Questions

Every Passover, someone at the table, generally the youngest, asks the Four Questions.  For me, these questions do a good job of putting the entire evening into perspective and make everything which follows them relevant to the overall purpose of the holiday.  They are meant to be asked from a child’s perspective (hence the youngest inquires), which is often a combination of innocence and ignorance – without preconception.

I thought of the role questions play while working with a client of mine.  We were reviewing a presentation we’re constructing to raise a funding round and the pitch felt too cluttered and unfocused.  So I asked my own version of the four questions:

  1. What is the problem we’re solving?
  2. Is this a big enough problem that it can support a business that solves it?
  3. Is our solution unique and has anyone ever tried to solve this problem before?
  4. Who the hell are we and why should we be entrusted with anyone’s money?

You’ll notice I didn’t interject any mention of the client’s company or executive team until the end.  Like most things in business, I like to try and keep ego out of it.  Business is, at its core, about problems and solutions. It’s not about you – it’s about your customers (or potential customers).   Odds are if you can answer the four questions I’m asking above, and remain focused on them, your business will be on the right track.

Fortunately, we already had the answers although they were buried deep within the current version of the presentation.  A little editing and a lot of attention to some simple questions, and we’re a lot closer to some funding (we hope!).

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Filed under Consulting, Helpful Hints

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