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Problem Storming is the New Brainstorming

The proportion of Solutions to Problems in the world of start-ups is totally out of whack. By our estimates solutions outnumber problems by 50x in the SaaS space alone.


To change that, we need to change how we think about success --> Moving from a SOLUTION base to a PROBLEM base. And the tools we use need to change too.

That’s why the very first thing we do in any engagement is brainstorm hidden or unsolvable problems a company could solve.

You could call it, PROBLEM STORMING.

  1. Assemble - get your core group of founders, tech, sales, marketing and other key leaders together
  2. Problem List - create a list of problems you already solve (it’s okay if these aren’t new problems, yet) - use a whiteboard or something like Mural if you can
  3. Target - ask yourself who has these problems, and then what related problem the people higher in the organization have --> usually c-suite
  4. Expand - with your refined list of problems in hand, ask yourselves are any of these right? Or (more likely) are they symptoms of a larger problem?
  5. Spell Out Cost - Once you figure out the higher order problems, get specific on the cost of not solving these problems … these costs will range from minor annoyances to, potentially, existential crises
  6. Vote - Drive towards a central tendency with a vote - which of these problems feels big enough and costly enough to warrant a solution. Remember problems are solved in businesses with budget line items - is your problem big enough and different enough to warrant that line item?

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