Problem and solution spaces are intertwined, not separated.

Some product teams spend too much time in the so-called "Problem space".

🤔 "Are we even focused on a problem worth solving? We need to observe more, and explore!"

Very important question.

But usually a poor way of going about answering it.

Not many people understand that as we test different solutions, we learn more deeply about the problems we're trying to solve - as well as new problems.

Sometimes, we even bump into a completely new realm of problems we didn't know existed.

But you need to start ideating, mapping out your assumptions, and testing them.

Staying in "problem discovery" for too long, just observing and "exploring" is dangerous.

And unfortunately a reality in many companies.

As Teresa Torres puts it in her book Continuous Discovery Habits:

“As they explore potential solutions, they learn more about the problem, and, as they learn more about the problem, new solutions become possible. These two activities are intrinsically intertwined. The problem space and the solution space evolve together.”

✅ The magic happens when we start testing solutions. That's when we start learning.

Note: In scaleups and especially small orgs, this is usually a common frustration of many founders. Some of them (not all...) have "seen" the problems. But they're met with a Product Manager or Designer who "wants to explore the problem first". I think this is great. Good mindset. Stay critical. But "validate" that problem for a couple of days... not months.

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Hey there 👋 I’m Afonso, Founder & Partner at Scandinavian Product Group. Thanks for reading :)