One of the keys to entrepreneurial success is to provide a solution to a problem that many people have. The larger the problem, the more successful you can be.

Being the first to solve a well-known problem, or coming up with a solution that is better than anything that is already available on the market can be tough.

Take the smartphone industry for instance.

One of the biggest challenges is battery life. There have been many attempts to solve this problem by; creating longer lasting batteries; wireless charging plates; additional battery packs and even solar powered chargers.

None of these are TRUE wireless charging solutions because at the end of the day smartphone users find themselves tied to a wall outlet. Either you need to be carrying around a charger, the solutions tend to be bulky, or the solar chargers take too much time to charge the phone.

With around 3 billion mobile users in the world, this is a lucrative problem if anyone could crack it.

One young inventor at the University of Illinois, Rohit Kalyanpur CEO and founder of Optivolt Labs, might have come up with a solution that could redefine the mobile charging industry and help him to capitalize on the market by using Design Thinking.

Design Thinking is a methodology used by designers to solve complex problems and find desirable solutions for clients. A design mindset is not problem-focused, it's solution focused and action oriented towards creating a preferred future.

Rohit said, "A big part of design thinking is about discovery and iteration."

The initial discovery, through customer interviews, showed that the charging solution would need to meet all of the following requirements if it was to be accepted as a workable solution:

  • It needed to be truly wireless
  • It needed to be self-charging
  • It needed to be light
  • It needed to be efficient
  • It needed to be 100% portable, and
  • It needed to be able to work anywhere

After multiple iterations, design reviews, customer trials, and further interactions they finally developed "Particle" a slim, lightweight, wireless, Solar Battery iPhone case.

1. The Particle has been designed to fit the iPhone like a standard size case, so it's always on your phone and not a hassle to carry around.

2. It has an Optics System that minimizes light reflection and also has circuitry that is optimized for charging smartphones, which means it charges faster than any other solar case on the market.

3. The "Particle" can charge the iPhone using indoor light so it can be used anywhere light is present. However, it charges faster in sunlight

4. It's completely wireless and features a Dual Case Design. The Solar Battery part of the case can be detached and placed in any light to charge the "Particle's" battery while you're using the iPhone with the inner case on. Once charged the outer case can be reattached as necessary once fully recharged.

Rohit said "The most crucial iteration which came out of the customer interviews was the Dual Case Design. This is important because:

1. Smartphone users keep their phones in their pocket and having a removable solar piece allows the user to still keep their phone (in the inner case) in their pocket while they keep the solar piece to charge.

2. If you have 100% charge on your phone, it's not necessary to keep the battery pack on the phone.

These two problems have never been solved with the conventional battery and solar cases on the market and could not have been realized without our thorough design thinking approach."

If you're currently looking to try to find a new solution or a better solution for an existing problem, then take a leaf out of Rohit's boon and try using Design Thinking, it might just help you define a better solution.