Vitamin, Painkiller, Steroid or Candy?

image of colorful candy
Photo by Customerbox on Unsplash

This is an extension of a long-established way of thinking about #startups.

While helpful, lots of great businesses don’t really solve a problem, but they aren’t just ‘nice to have’ either.

I suggest two additional categories: Candy and Steroids.


‘Candy’ is my term for products and services that provide a strong uplift in users’ lives, in the form of profit, entertainment, connection, boost in ego, pleasure, etc.

BeReal, video games, roller coasters, and Tough Mudder are examples.


‘Steroids’ is my term for products and services that supercharge, so users are faster, stronger, more capable, etc.

An example is Instagram filters, which allow an ordinary person to convert their amateur photos into beautiful, professional-looking images with a simple button click.

Even though it’s possible to back-into a way of framing what some of these do as solving a problem, the ‘candy’ category seems like a more natural fit.

Of course, in some cases, a product/service may fit more than one category, especially when considering various audiences.

Thanks for your time!


P.S. Cole House super fast mobile websites can help any business upgrade to a minimum score of 90 from Google’s Page Speed Insights.

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