Innovation: Defining the Problem

A recipe for drama: Working on great solutions to poorly defined problems. When you work on a product but have not fully defined the problem, you are at risk. You are at risk of building something out of some sort of ‘Ivory Tower’-syndrome. It ends up with a product that nobody wants or is willing to pay for.

"Ivory Tower Syndrome"

I’ve seen this a lot at larger corporates, who think they know perfectly well what their customer wants. They have numerous brainstorms, spend months on pre-studies. They manage to get all their internal stakeholders on board. Debating back-and-forth on the ultimate colour of the last nut and bolt. After a year the product is finally launched and ‘meets an actual customer’. And from there it fails. It is said that all plans are good until the first shot is fired. The true testing for a product is with an actual customer, preferably one who is willing to pay for it. This is the big appeal from methods like Lean Startup.

"all plans are good until the first shot is fired"

When you are looking at your project and can not yet clearly define what problem you are solving, for who and how much they are willing to pay for it, you have some work to be done on truly defining the problem at hand. Also, if you are unsure what you are looking for to get your project moving forward or what your Next Action is, please report to the nearest drawing board for a strategy session.


If you feel stuck on your project or product and want to explore how to get things moving again, please schedule a call using the bookings page: