Needs don’t always lead to demand

One of the accepted holy grails of building an organization is that you should fill a need. Fill people's needs, they say, and the rest will take care of itself.

But… someone might know that they need to lose some weight, but what they demand is potato chips.

Someone might know that they need to be more concerned about the world, but what they demand is another fake reality show.

As my friend Tricia taught me, this is brought into sharp relief when doing social enterprise in the developing world. There are things that people vitally need… and yet providing it is no guarantee you'll find demand.

Please don't get confused by what the market needs. That's something you decided, not them.

If you want to help people lose weight, you need to sell them something they demand, like belonging or convenience, not lecture them about what they need.