The Secret to Success Case Study: Solve a Problem and Build Something You Would Use

The “secret” to a building a successful company is to find a problem and build a commercial solution to fix the problem. While this is a fairly straightforward statement, it is one that many entrepreneurs have trouble applying. The best way to better understand this “secret” is through analyzing real world examples and case studies.

Hence, John asked me to share the story of AM Beat Wire, a social news website for web entrepreneurs and bloggers such as yourself. The problem was simple enough, I teach a two unit entrepreneurship course at UC Berkeley and was looking for a way to share content with students and have students engage with the content. There are so many blogs and websites related to entrepreneurship, business, blogging, and internet marketing that a lot of great content goes missed. Thus, I created AM Beat Wire, a website that took the latest stories from the RSS feeds of hundreds of the top entrepreneurship and business related sources from around the web and organized them in once place. I also let students and other users submit stories. Then, much like Digg or Reddit, I let all visitors vote on stories and the best posts were published to the home page.

The results were fantastic. Students and other users were all engaging with the content, and with the help of editors, a number of great news stories from around the web were being filtered through the system and displayed on the home page everyday. The group of students who I introduced to the site took a real interest in entrepreneurship and many are now pursuing their own ventures.

Aside from giving my students a genuine interest in entrepreneurship and encouraging them to start their own ventures, AM Beat Wire was also very successful in its other purpose: sifting through the hundreds of entrepreneurship stories published daily and finding the most interesting and helpful content. Stories are submitted automatically on a daily basis and users and editors sift through the content to find and promote the best entrepreneurship content published.

Now I had the advantage of having a user base already to use the website but even without the students, a number of other entrepreneurs and webmasters have the found the site own their own and have sent me e-mails saying how helpful it has been in finding quality content and promoting their own content. If you can find a problem, in this case finding a way to organize all the entrepreneurship related content on the web and highlight the best articles to share with my students, develop a way to solve the problem, then people who have similar problems will come.

If you are interested in finding the top entrepreneurship or online marketing content from around the web or sharing your own content, visit

This post was written by Aditya Mahesh, founder of AMBeat , a leading entrepreneurship and marketing blog for bloggers and webmasters.

21 thoughts on “The Secret to Success Case Study: Solve a Problem and Build Something You Would Use”

  1. Aleksandra says:

    I tried to post an article but I get a red line and a back button. I don’t think it’s accepting it but not saying what might be missing…Also I don’t see any type of a link for support…too bad I was going to try it out

  2. Exactly offer the readers something they need that adds value to their life and they will constantly be coming back. Winning formula.

  3. Something valuable AND unique

  4. Jay Perez says:

    Awesome stuff! Hope to be one of those blogs when my whole design has been created for me!

    Great post!

  5. Shirley says:

    Many niches and markets have been saturated with many of the same things, so to be noticed you have to offer something unique, meaning there has to be something unique about what you are offering to be able to be noticed and for you to succeed at what you are doing.

    Great article, Aditya :).

    1. Agree it is better to be a niche market rather than general.

    2. I’d like to disagree. I think the market is so big, there’s plenty of space for multiple players. It’s true, though, that if you want to establish yourself as the #1 player in a market, it helps to be first.

  6. Great post – and timely.
    Just a couple of weeks ago I did the very same thing with our new site, Snap Hockey. Gathered all of the best hockey blogs and put them in one place. With a tip of the hat to All Top, hockey fans have another resource to use.
    ps. there is also a great Ted video on solving the problem of bribes in India. This guy has stones…a real problem that needs a solution. It was put up quite recently and is worth seeing.

    Snap Hockey

  7. S Ahsan says:

    Aditya thats a great post,, i have seen your stuff before.. thanks for the share

  8. George says:

    Cool, I’ll check it out.

    Finding a problem and providing a solution sounds simple, but it’s true that most people don’t stop to think about it. Thanks for reminding us!

  9. Nick says:

    Great article, John. Today, if you want to be noticed, you need to offer your readers something of valuable and unique, because many markets are saturated.

  10. I think this is great but i just can’t open the website from my side

  11. Great idea! Thanks for the read.

  12. Hem … i think it is worthy to know about entrepreneurs though so i will check it.

  13. If it has value people will use it and you’ll get traffic.

  14. A good business takes certain risks. Suppose you’re about to enter the restaurant business. One of your assumptions might be ‘restaurants have a menu’. While such an assumption may seem true at first, try challenging it and maybe you’ll find some very interesting business models (such as one restaurant in which customers bring dish ideas for the chef to cook, for example).

  15. Aditya thanks for good post

  16. mmo says:

    Is Aditya a full time hired person for John, I see every 5th post from him

  17. chester says:

    Sounds like pretty sound business advice. AM Beat Wire is a pretty good site. Just checked it out.

  18. This is exactly the thought process I use!

    I never understood the popularity of Pligg websites. They are only duplicating Digg, and offer nothing in addition. Why would anyone in the right mind visit a Pligg website?

    And Internet marketers don’t count!

    Build something new and fun, and an audience will present itself.

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