The Problem-Solver’s Playbook: Sharpening Your Thinking and Crafting a Powerful Product Vision Statement

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Aug 28, 2023

4 min read

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The Problem-Solver’s Playbook: Sharpening Your Thinking and Crafting a Powerful Product Vision Statement

Introduction:

In the world of problem-solving and product management, it is crucial to approach challenges with a clear and strategic mindset. This article combines two important aspects of these disciplines - asking the right questions to sharpen your thinking and crafting a powerful product vision statement. By exploring these topics, we can gain insights into how to approach problems effectively and inspire our teams to build exceptional products.

Section 1: Sharpening Your Thinking

  • 1. Is this problem merely a symptom of a bigger problem?

When faced with a problem, it is essential to look beyond its surface and identify if it is just a symptom of a larger issue. By addressing the root cause, we can solve the problem more effectively and prevent it from recurring.

  • 2. How impactful is this problem for the customers?

Assessing the impact of a problem on customers involves considering three dimensions: reach, intensity, and user segment. Understanding the number of customers affected, the depth of their pain, and the specific customer segments impacted helps prioritize problem-solving efforts.

  • 3. Does it align with the company/product’s long-term vision and strategy?

To be successful, any solution or problem-solving effort must align with the long-term vision and strategy of the company or product. By choosing what not to do and focusing on the most relevant problems, we can ensure that our efforts drive us closer to our goals.

  • 4. What do you need to deprioritize to work on this?

Thinking about the cost of delay and the cost of doing nothing allows us to prioritize problems effectively. Some problems require immediate attention, while others can be addressed gradually. Identifying these priorities helps allocate resources efficiently.

  • 5. What happens if you do nothing?

Understanding the consequences of inaction is crucial. Some problems are like a fire that needs immediate extinguishing, while others are like a leaking roof that worsens over time. By considering the potential outcomes, we can make informed decisions about problem-solving strategies.

Section 2: Crafting a Powerful Product Vision Statement

  • 1. What is the customer’s job-to-be-done?

Looking beyond product usability, the Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) framework helps us understand the broader goals and objectives of our customers. By focusing on what customers are trying to achieve, we can build products that truly meet their needs.

  • 2. How can I build a deeper moat for my product?

Creating a strong moat around your product is essential for long-term success. One effective way to achieve this is by leveraging network effects, where increased usage of your product adds value for each individual user.

  • 3. If a new hotshot founder creates a pitch deck to disrupt my industry, what will they say about my company/product?

Disruption is inevitable in any industry. By continuously challenging and disrupting our own products, we stay ahead of the competition. Anticipating what others might say about our products allows us to identify areas for improvement and innovation.

  • 4. What future situation can make my product irrelevant?

To stay relevant and future-proof our products, we must anticipate potential scenarios that could render them obsolete. Proactively identifying risks and challenges helps us adapt and evolve our products to meet changing demands.

  • 5. Am I the best person to solve this?

Recognizing our limitations and seeking input from others is crucial. Sometimes, we may not be the best person to solve a particular problem. By collaborating with experts and leveraging diverse perspectives, we can find innovative solutions.

Conclusion and Actionable Advice:

In conclusion, sharpening our thinking and crafting a powerful product vision statement are essential components of effective problem-solving and product management. By asking the right questions and aligning our efforts with long-term goals, we can drive impactful solutions. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to consider:

  • 1. Prioritize problems based on their impact and alignment with the long-term vision.
  • 2. Embrace disruption and challenge your own products to stay ahead of the competition.
  • 3. Seek input from diverse perspectives and collaborate with experts to find innovative solutions.

By combining these strategies, we can become better problem-solvers and inspire our teams to create exceptional products that truly meet customer needs.

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