Nacho Bassino

@nachobassino

Do you understand how big of a problem the “solution bias” really is?

I watched a talk by professor John Medina and he stated a phrase that triggered this article:

“If you care what you believe you should never be in the investigative fields”

Let me explain why.

The solution bias

A lot has been written on 2 subjects that are usually referred to as solution bias or “falling in love with the solution”:

  1. How we tend to jump straight into solution mode before really understanding the problem. Considering that “a problem well-defined is a problem half solved” this is a major cause of product failure.
  2. How we “commit” to our solution blinding us from being willing to experiment and/or receive feedback

Instead of focusing on gaining a profound understanding of the user and the pain, we build a solution on top of incorrect assumptions and we end up with a product nobody wants.

Instead of systematically experimenting our assumptions we just build the product, and when we do experiment we justify negative feedback with excuses.

Product Development mostly lives in the investigative field

Why John Medina’s phrase stroke a chord with me?

Because for a long time I have been working with teams on increasing experimentation and I believe one of the fundamental changes that are required is a mindset shift.

And that change is towards being open, curious and willing to believe anything (and refute any solution). Probably the same traits required for being a scientist. Most of our Product Discovery work lives in a similar place, and besides the different techniques we may use, the underlying process is the same as the scientific method uses.

As Ash Maurya says, you have to love the problem, not your solution.

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