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What FWP Are You Trying to Solve? – Personal Branding Blog


If you aren’t solving a FWP you might be wasting your time.

Sure, there are inventors and innovators out there making things you never knew you needed.

Think iPod (and before that the Sony Walkman).

But, for most people that are willing to spend their hard earned money they want solutions to First World Problems.

Meaning problems that impact them directly. There is a negative connotation of what a First World Problem is too. However, I’m taking the tack that a FWP is anything that someone is willing to pay to obtain (or trade, depending upon transaction factors).

They don’t need to be huge issues. But, if they are … that’s OK.

Some will be grandiose:

  • Providing a reliable solar electric panel in the form of a roof shingle (Elon Musk)
  • Distributing mosquito nets in areas that are rife with malaria (Bill Gates)
  • Balloon-Powered Internet For Everyone (Google’s Project Loon)

Some will be purely utilitarian … and in being utilitarian they solve an immediate FWP. Even if you think that specific FWP being addressed is minor or non-existent there is a market for almost everything.

Who knew we needed a self-wringing mop?

Enter Joy Mangano … inventor of the Miracle Mop.

In some senses you need to look no further than the infomercials:

  • Who doesn’t want to cook a whole chicken in half the time with no muss and no fuss?
  • Doesn’t everyone want to hang 500 things in the space they used to hang 10 in their closet?
  • Why wouldn’t you want to get a whole body workout in 14 minutes?

These are sometimes comical examples, but the fact is they work. And, they sell. And, these are by some definitions perfect examples of First World Problems.

Whether you will be the next property flipper or infomercial maven is up to you, but the key is … Look for First World Problems to solve.

Then go out an solve them. When you do you will stand out in your career. You might even find that you have a few careers in you.

And, in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson … the world will beat a path to your door.

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