I signed the Hope Accord.

Value of applying systematic problem-solving processes

Something I’ve repeatedly underestimated the value of is applying a systematic problem-solving process to any given problem.

I still haven’t really got the hang of it, but here are a few themes that have emerged so far:

  • Google it. Sometimes an embarrassingly basic and specific Google search like “teeth making me angry” will lead to relevant, actionable results.

  • Enumeration – enumerating assets, options, SWOT, etc. This is another one that can feel too basic to be worth doing. My example is a failed startup that it took me a year to realise might have contained another startup within it, even after someone in a similar startup emailed me to (I assume) do their due diligence. I fully admit that I’m not going to do this, but maybe something like a two-monthly SWOT analysis of your life would be worth doing. Even better if someone else could do it, so that they weren’t blinkered by your narrow focus on current goals and problems.

  • Basic business idea validation. I can’t count the number of times I’ve dived into a new project without checking whether there’s a market, whether it already exists, etc.