What's a Problem You'd Like to See Someone Solve?

What a simple question, but one we don’t ask enough.

What’s a problem you’d like to see someone solve?

As you know, I have an entrepreneurial bent, so I love to figure out ways to solve problems, and then implement those solutions. But first, you’ve got to pick a problem out, one that bothers you.

I put the question to the Hacker News Community, and the response was immense: 183 replies, all of them either problems entrepreneurial developers wanted to see solved or comments on those problems. Here were the top ideas, scored by the Hacker News community:


1) Get People to stop using Internet Explorer 6 (58 points)

IE6, for those of you who are not programmers or designers, is the bane of our existence. Rewriting CSS that works in Firefox, Safari, and IE7, but then breaks in IE6 is one of the most frustrating experiences possible. I’m certain that IE6 wastes millions of dollars each year in wasted manpower and design flaws. No, it’s not global warming, but it’s still a problem that causes massive inefficiency and stifles innovation.


2) Longer Lifespans (20 points)

A larger problem that millions of people are already trying to solve. But one I don’t think we’ll be solving before I’m in the grave.


3) Longer Battery Life (12 points)

Many devices could be smaller and more efficient if they simply had a better power source. Everything from “wireless” electricity to a successor to the lithium ion battery could do the trick. But someone’s got to make the innovation.

When am I going to have a laptop that runs for 24 hours straight without being plugged in?


4) P=NP (13 points)

Remember, I asked this question to hackers, so of course this was going to come up. Wikipedia sums it up nicely:

In essence, the question P = NP? asks: if ‘yes’-answers to a ‘yes’-or-‘no’-question can be verified “quickly” (in polynomial time), can the answers themselves also be computed quickly?

Computer science isn’t some simple line of code that pops out a website. It’s an entire subset of logic and mathematics that requires dedication to understand.


There were a great deal of other ideas, some theoretical and some very specific. But the important lesson is that, when you talk about it, your brain gets thinking.

There are a ton of problems in this world, and a shortage of people trying to fix them. That’s why there’s opportunity, even in this abysmal market. The problem isn’t finding a problem or even figuring out a solution, the problem is implementing that solution. That takes hard work and energy.

But first, figure out the problem. So what’s a problem you’d like to see someone solve? Leave it in the comments, maybe someone will fix it because they read this post, or perhaps you’ll team up with someone yourself to do it.

P.S. – Those responses inspired me to work on the IE6 problem. I’ve registered replaceIE6.com and will be announcing something soon. But if you’re talented in javascript or online PR, I could probably use you.

Image credits to lauren-louise