Solve Problems That Matter​

Design, Build & Launch Your Social Enterprise Idea

by Ben Pecotich

The 90-day program helping you take a human-centred approach to design, build, and launch your social enterprise idea – and build momentum to solve problems that matter

Who is Solve Problems That Matter For?

I’ve coached thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students to design and innovate for positive impact over the years – so I’m focusing on these people and the key goals, questions, and challenges they face

Social enterprise founders

Social enterprise founders in the early stages of exploring your idea

Startup founders

Startup founders wanting to embed purpose and impact in your business model

Leaders & changemakers

Leaders and changemakers in established social enterprises, NFPs, and purpose-driven organisations creating a product that delivers on your core purpose while generating sustainable earned income

If you’re just starting work on your idea, been going for years but not making the progress you want, or designing and building a new product within an established organisation – this book is for you. Innovation never stops.

Reader's Goals

Designing, building, and launching your social enterprise idea can be a very rewarding experience… but there are also plenty of challenges. Solve Problems That Matter will help you with these goals

Take a human-centred design approach to innovation to really understand your customers, what's important to them, and help solve problems that matter

Look after your own personal wellbeing while making a positive impact

Design a sustainable business model that has purpose and impact embedded in the way you do things while also being financially successful

Have a practical guide and method to follow so you can build momentum and get the support you need

How It Works

The core of Solve Problems That Matter is based on my experience coaching social enterprise founders and NFP leaders on our Jetpack program since 2014

Philosophy & approach

I want you to be happy.

It’s important to me that you enjoy this journey and stay healthy and well… ideally feeling even healthier as you do work that gives you meaning and fulfilment.

My ambition is that as we work through this program together, you’ll feel that I’m with you and working alongside you. Cheering you on but also helping to challenge you, to test your thinking and iterate – to succeed sooner.

I strongly believe (and the evidence shows) that when we take a human-centred design approach to innovation and embed impact into business models, it helps create the conditions for people to be happier and have an increasing quality of life.

Good business needs to do great things for communities and our planet while being financially successful… it’s increasingly what talent, customers, and investors expect.

I frame social enterprise as something you do rather than something you are. Don’t worry, I outline the key concepts and terms with how I’ll use them to avoid confusion.

This is not an academic deep dive into theory and frameworks – I cover theory to a practical level needed for how we’ll apply it using a learning through doing approach. It’s also not a duplication of other frameworks and methods – I refer to other great books and resources for more information on various models, tools, and research.

90-day action plan

Solve Problems That Matter is a simple and practical guidebook with worksheets structured around a 90-day (13 week) plan with a Sprint 0 and five execution sprints to build momentum through the double diamond. You’ll adapt the timeline where needed as part of planning in Sprint 0.

Solve Problems That Matter program
This is a practical guidebook with worksheets.
Together we’ll work through the big questions… how do I/we:
  • Communicate our purpose, theory of change, and the social/environmental value we’ll create?
  • Identify our customers, understand what they really care about, and know if they’ll buy and use our solution?
  • Design and build our solution as an end-to-end experience and test what our customers will pay for it?
  • Calculate how much money we need and when we’ll break even?
  • Build our team to make it happen?
  • Plan our approach to get into a good rhythm to build momentum and get traction?
  • Share our story to attract the support we need?
  • Stay healthy and positive on this journey without getting overwhelmed?

High-level outline

Part 1: Setting the Scene

1. Mindset
2. Approach & Philosophy
3. Making it Happen
4. Purpose, Vision & Theory of Change

Part 2: People, Problem & Context

5. Current State
6. Customer Research
7. Market Research
8. Making Sense

Part 3: Solution & Business Model

 9. Explore Possible Solutions
10. Prototype & Testing
11. Pricing
12. Financials
13. Legals
14. Bring It All Together
15. Share Your Story

Part 4: Momentum

16. Momentum
17. Getting Support

Benefits​

My aim is to help more social enterprise founders, NFP leaders, and changemakers globally solve problems that matter by taking a human-centred design approach to innovation.

This book will help you with:

Focus

Time and headspace to work on the right things at the right time while staying healthy and positive on the journey – not overwhelmed and burnt out​

Clarity

Guided path to design a sustainable business model that has purpose and impact embedded and is financially successful​

Confidence

Build momentum and move forward with more certainty and less risk by testing and refining your idea and impact​

Relationships

Support on the journey and ways to connect with collaborators and investors in the social enterprise ecosystem​

Solve Problems That Matter is based on my experience coaching thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students over the years – especially social enterprise founders and NFP leaders on our Jetpack program since 2014. It also draws on the project-based experiential leadership, design, and innovation programs I’ve designed and delivered… and of course the many social enterprise startups I’ve co-founded.

Pre-Order Solve Problems That Matter

Pre-order your copy of Solve Problems That Matter now. This is the special never to be repeated pre-launch offer for early access!

Solve Problems That Matter book

$80 $49 (+shipping or free local pickup in Sydney)

3 Format Bundle

Print book, PDF & ebook bundle… which means you get the PDF & ebook formats for free.

The ebook will be first – expected late October, then the PDF, and print books should be here early November.

Want to order 10 books or more or need help with a better shipping price, please get in touch!

Want to see the teaser preview? You can download it now!

The purpose of the teaser is to give you a sense of the approach we’ll take, how it works, and my style. It includes the full intro, parts of the first two chapters, and the opening of Parts 1, 2, 3 & 4 – with the full table of contents, sprint focus, and the big questions covered in each.

Enter your details and I’ll send you the download link and keep you in the loop.

You’ll be redirected to the page to download the teaser

Behind the Scenes

The making of… Solve Problems That Matter. Sharing my story as I progress, the many lessons I’m learning, and opportunities to get involved

Spark Festival book launch

24 September 2021

Awesome to see the Spark Festival 2021 program announced this week! As usual, Sydney Design Thinking is part of the program and I’ll be presenting for the first time… after 6+ years and 63 meetups as a SydDT co-founder – so this is a rare event.

You know when you have a social enterprise idea you think will help solve a problem that really matters but you’re busy, not sure how to make it happen, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed? Well, this session is for you.

This will be a soft launch of my book Solve Problems That Matter… which is all about how to design, build & launch your social enterprise idea. Thursday, 14 October at 6pm. Free and online. Grab your ticket now!

Cover voting results

3 September 2021

A huge thanks to everyone who voted on the cover design concepts and shared your awesome insights. The leader changed a couple of times while voting was open but in the end the puzzle heart cover was a clear winner with 38% of the vote – over double the covers that came second and third. An extra special thanks to Ben Crothers and Hannah Miller for going above and beyond with your advice and time on this one! I feel very lucky to have you in my corner.

I’m planning to get Solve Problems That Matter out into the world in October 2021… order now and I’ll send you the special pre-launch offer real soon!

Cover voting

25 August 2021

It’s time to vote on the cover for Solve Problems That Matter! Got 30 seconds for a really simple vote? Hit the vote button and click on the cover you think does the best job of conveying the core message and mood of the brief – which is on the first page of the survey. You also have the option to share why, and if there are any covers you never want to see again 😄.

Voting closes on Sunday, so get your vote in now. Thanks for your support!

Rebuilding momentum

17 August 2021

The past few weeks have been full on with a couple of the annual leadership programs I lead – and the joys of lockdown with the kids learning from home. I’ve been rebuilding momentum though to get Solve Problems That Matter launched in the next couple of months.

Last week I prototyped the design of the interior and I’ll also have some book cover options for you to vote on in the next few days. Watch this space!

7 years of Dynamic4 Jetpack

1 July 2021

On this day seven years ago Anthony Quinn & I ran the first public session of what has evolved and grown over the years into the Dynamic4 Jetpack program. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of coaching over 60 social enterprise founders & NFP leaders from 44 orgs. A big thanks to the Jetpack alumni. I love every minute of it.

Solve Problems That Matter is a 90-day action plan to guide you through taking a human-centred approach to designing and building your social enterprise idea – and building momentum… coming soon!

Product page live

26 May 2021

I got the product page live last week. It will evolve a fair bit yet but you can now pre-order your copy and I’ll keep you in the loop as it progresses – and of course send you the special pre-launch offer 😃. Thanks to everyone who already has!

I’ll be testing cover concepts very soon, so look out for some options to vote on.

The non-writing part of doing the book has been taking a lot of focus over the past few weeks – so much to learn about self-publishing but I’m switching gears back into mostly writing mode now. A big thanks to Jaqui Lane who is my book coach and helping guide me through.

Green Elephant Show interview

29 March 2021

I recently had a fun chat with Mike Saville on the Green Elephant Show for B Corp Month talking about my happy place… the intersect of B Corps, social enterprise, human-centred design & innovation… and a bit of jazz!

Green Elephant is the show that has fun with sustainability, inspiring everyone to develop more sustainable habits. Check it out!

10k words done

9 March 2021

4 weeks ago, I put it out there that I’m finally writing a book. I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people cheering me on with kind words of encouragement. A huge thanks to everyone – especially those who’ve helped me test my thinking so far.

It’s a new experience for me with a lot to learn – and quickly! I’ve been lucky to learn from the wisdom of some great friends who’ve written books including Luke FacciniJodie Moule & Ben Crothers (check out their work!). An extra special thanks to Ben for nudging me through my imposter syndrome and minor existential implosions – probably won’t be my last mate! 😊

Yesterday I achieved a key milestone passing 10k words and full coverage of my very rough first draft. I’ll keep building the momentum.

I’m finally writing a book!

9 February 2021

I’m finally writing a book! I’d love your help to test some of my thinking. The working title is Solve Problems That Matter: A Social Enterprise Guide to Human-Centred Design & Innovation.

My aim is to help more social enterprise founders, NFP leaders, and changemakers globally take a human-centred design approach to innovation and create the conditions for people to be happier and increase quality of life.

The book is based on my experience coaching thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students over the years – especially social enterprise founders and NFP leaders on our Jetpack program… and designing and delivering project-based experiential leadership, design, and innovation programs… and of course the many social enterprise startups I’ve co-founded. You can find out more here.

Ben Pecotich: A Bit About Me

Why me? To answer this, I need to nudge aside my impostor syndrome (it never really goes away). I’m a designer, innovation coach, and social enterprise/startup founder. Since 1993, I’ve been focused on taking a human-centred approach to designing and leading strategic change in Australia, NZ, the UK, and Europe – combining strategy, design, technology, consulting, and program management. I co-founded my first startup in 1994, and have been working on startups and social enterprises since.

I’m also co-founder of the Sydney Design Thinking meetup (8,000+ members), a founding board member and treasurer of the Social Enterprise Council of NSW & ACT (SECNA), and a Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Centre for Social Impact/UNSW Business School teaching masters students.

Dynamic4

I founded Dynamic4 in 2001. We’re a social enterprise and certified B Corp focused on design and innovation for happier communities. We also run an incubator for early-stage social enterprise ideas called Dynamic4 Jetpack.

I spend my time coaching founders and leaders to solve problems that matter and deliver great outcomes for people and our planet while being financially successful. I’ve coached thousands of founders, leaders, designers, and university students to design and innovate for positive impact over the years.

My Purpose & Vision

My vision is a world where organisations and leaders solve problems that matter in more empathic and innovative ways – and measure success in outcomes for people, our planet, and prosperity… so people and communities have increasing quality of life, are happier, and live on a planet that is cleaner and healthier.

All the work I do is aligned with my purpose and theory of change – focused on helping create the conditions for people and communities to be more empowered and inclusive, and live in more sustainable ways.

I don’t pretend to know everything and have all the answers, but I do my best to be a trusted partner and guide to make things easier. I’ve been through this rollercoaster of a journey myself many times and coached others through it. Through these experiences.

I’ve built the mindset, skillset, and know how to use the tools to help others work through and make sense of the ambiguity and complexity to find clarity. And I love it.