One of the main philosophies in Peter Thiel’s book, and something he discussed a lot during a speech at the Demo conference on Wednesday, is the notion that successful businesses solve a specific problem, and go on to become a monopoly in their newly defined field. That should be an entrepreneur’s main goal, he believes.

Someone in the audience asked him what’re the top 3 unsolved problems that have the potential to become a successful and monopolistic startup in their field.

He mentioned a couple, such as the challenge of finding cheap and clean energy, as well as several diseases that still need cures, like Alzheimer’s’.

But there’s something else people need to keep in mind when starting a business.

“It’s always which problems are you really passionate about that are important that you can work on,” he said.

“I think for anyone founding a company, the three questions you’d answer are what are some important questions that, number two, you can contribute on solving, and number three, that for some strange reason other people are not really focused on, and they have some psychological block where they haven’t seen this as a problem that’s important and solvable.”

In other words, look for the problems that you’re passionate about solving, but that other people think are either impossible to solve, or too small to bother with. That’s where to start.

Watch the entire video on Demo’s site. (The part where he starts talking about problems is around the 43-minute mark.)

This story originally appeared on Business Insider. Copyright 2014


VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative technology and transact. Our site delivers essential information on data technologies and strategies to guide you as you lead your organizations. We invite you to become a member of our community, to access:
  • up-to-date information on the subjects of interest to you
  • our newsletters
  • gated thought-leader content and discounted access to our prized events, such as Transform 2021: Learn More
  • networking features, and more
Become a member