The Schlep Filter

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” Frank A. Clark.

Finding a valuable startup idea is extremely tough. Most founders pursue ideas that are in their comfort zone. They stick with problems that are easy and straightforward, which makes sense because taking an idea from inception to a startup is already a tough process. But what about problems that are tedious and require you to deal with unchartered territory? According to Paul Graham, the schlep filter induces a condition called schlep blindness, where founders unconsciously shut out ideas that lead them in that unchartered territory.

The healthcare industry is a perfect example of schlep blindness. Even though there are valuable opportunities just waiting to be implemented, it’s an industry plagued by regulations and complexities that many entrepreneurs simply do not want to deal with.

So next time you’re out of ideas, get out there and let your mind wander in the unchartered territory. Instead of trying to solve a problem you have, ask yourself “what problem do I wish someone else would solve for me?” When you do get an idea, don’t think about the obstacles you’ll face, just do it. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss.