Adedolapo Olisa
3 min readApr 6, 2021

The Community Question that Qualifies the Next Idea to Invest in.

An idea brings with it a community to serve. Do you want to serve that community ?

My community loves when I get a haircut. They show that overwhelmingly everytime I cut my hair. Unfortunately, I don’t particularly care for frequent hair cuts. But if I were designing a business to extract value from my community, doing things like frequent haircuts become important because it doesn’t matter what I like, it matters what the community I long to serve asks for.

If you fell for that analogy, you’ll like the fact that medium community desires that you select a photo that goes along with your post. I don’t particularly enjoy that, so I picked from my most recent pictures and I am trying to make it fit the theme of the topic.

The article really begins … here :)

The cost of customer acquisition is one of the most damning problems a business has to confront. It is like that big giant enemy in God of War that you know is coming and you are smaller than but you must tackle to win.

When entrepreneurs tell me about the incredible app or tech product idea they have. My new first question is, do you know where to find people that have the problems your app solves? Second, are you excited to serve the community that has the problems your apps solves.

Because you are gonna have to do both. It’s more expensive to start from scratch on a community you don’t have an extensive network with. If you cannot bring them to a zoom meeting to talk about their problem, then you probably need to solve for that first before jumping into building anything.

The amount of money you will spend on identifying first how they currently solve their problems, validating that it is indeed how, engaging them on your solution, validating they do want it; grows exponentially for a community you don’t already have a deep relationship and insights into.

Second, when you think of the kinds of people with the problems you are looking to solve, are they the folks you see yourself spending extended time with ? Yes you can pay people to go learn this but your business if lucky would be looking to build around them.

When Walmart identified cost as a friction. They decided to build their business around low income communities.

Imagine if Walmart wants the money to be made from low income communities but complains that people sometimes steal their stuff or that not everyone coming in wears a suit or Gucci shirt.

Wrong business. Instead they desired their experience even staffing around maximizing contact with these communities and formed a marriage that has become inseparable.

Walmart knows low income communities better than their local governments.

Now, not saying that is all good for these communities but from the perspective of the business. They had to fall in love with that community and resonate with them.

I love that Walmart hires people that are a representative of the community they are in.

So what is your idea ?

what are you building ?

Who are you building it for ?

Do you know these people already?

Are you in love with the personas in these future community?

Do you long to serve these personas?

Business is about service not making money. Time to rethink and disqualify ideas that come with people you are allergic to. That marriage won’t work.

Adedolapo Olisa

I’m an aspiring story teller that is learning to let stories tell their own morals. You’ll find me where Faith-Tech-Art meet.