Ask. The simple way to build the right things

I’ve been experiencing a dramatic increase in my projects success rates in the past year, and I owe it to one simple change:

Before making this small, yet enormous change, I used to look for a problem to solve, but more often than not it wasn’t either the right solution, or the right problem.
After reading a few books about starting a business I found out that there’s one thing (among others) common between all of them, they all insisted on talking to your potential clients and asking them about what they need and let them tell you what problems they’re facing. Then you go on and design a solution, talk a bit more with your (soon to be) clients to see if that’s something that really helps them or not.
I did the exact same thing for the last couple of things I built, and the results were amazing.

First time I tried it, I learned what my client actually needs, but I didn’t have a conversation after I designed the solution and went directly to implementing it, turns out my solution didn’t fit their future goals, but somebody else’s solution did.
So, be sure to do the second part too: Talk about your solution with your clients to make sure it fits their problem, and also covers their goals.

Not to self:
I should always make sure that this approach is used only in proper situations, there’s also a fortune to be made if you can be both right, and non-consensus.