The problem statement framework behind famous startup pitch decks (WIP)

Note: This is the problem statement framework is to help you build startup pitch decks, not to build products.

Last week, I had a discussion with my co-founders on defining a problem statement for our startup, Centroly.

We were stuck on how to define a concrete problem statement, some of us suggested a few frameworks.

We couldn’t align on any, especially me.

Most frameworks out there are crafted by either consulting companies or people who haven’t started their own companies.

I’m a guy who learns by example. Instead, I asked the team to list down the top startup pitch decks to figure out the framework for ourselves.


  • Avoid being too abstract or too ambiguous, otherwise, it will be very hard to find an implementable solution
  • Ask “five whys” to find the root cause
  • Instead of asking “What are the problems users are facing?”, give it more context, “With the given existing situation, what are the problems they’re facing?”
  • You need to include your ideal solution/dream so the audience (investors, partners, etc.) can understand your worldview

The Problem Statement Framework

“User Needs + Reality (Existing solutions and their problems) + Ideal solution”


Price is an important concern for customers booking travel online.

Hotels leave you disconnected from the city and its culture.

No easy way exists to book a room with a local or become a host.

User need: Booking travel online

Existing solution and its problems: Hotel, being disconnected from the city and culture

Ideal solution: Ability to book a room with a local, or become a host


Storage is a mess. It’s 2007, and it’s still a pain to work on multiple computers; share files acrross a team; put photos, video onto the web; protect files from loss

What are people doing now: Email attachments, USB drives, Browser uploads, Piecemeal solutions

In a perfect world: Your files available wherver you are, on any device; Never worry about losing data, can always undo; Sharing, putting media onto the web is drag-and-drop

User need: Storing data

Existing solution and its problems: Risk of losing data when using Emails, USB Drives, etc.

Ideal solution: A web solution that store your data so that you can access it from anywhere

Front – Series A Deck

Email is the most important business communication channel, but email is a tool designed for personal use, and not optimized for collaboration, productivity, error-prone

The solution: A multichannel email client, where every conversation finds its way to the right people, and is accountae for in the right system

User need: Online business communication using email

Existing solution and its problems: Email tools are designed for personal use, error-prone, and not optimized for collaboration, productivity

Ideal solution: A collaborative and productive multichannel email client


Meet Matt. Matt spots a girl he likes at a party. But like most of us, Matt won’t go over to say hello. He has the same problem most of us do…. Fear of rejection!

Meet the cure: Matchbox – Like people around you and get connected if they like you too

User need: Find a girlfriend

Existing solution and its problems: ; Fear of rejection when going to a party, then saying hello

Idea Solution: Like people around you and get connected if they like you too

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