Love the problem

July 27th, 2017 by Ben Claxton

Priscilla Du Preez

As researchers, we know it’s not customers’ jobs to know what they want – it’s our job to understand their problem.

Product development (the kind that solves actual problems, rather than solutions looking for a problem) depends on customer research to define and prioritise real problems.


“Finding the right problem to solve is the most important predictor of success.”


Loving the problem means obsessing over customer needs and wants, not features…




…this doesn’t mean you can just ask customers what their problems are either!




The reason for this is that you will only uncover surface problems or solutions dressed up as problems (customers suffer from the same solution bias as makers do).

Identifying deep problems and root causes takes greater observation and analysis. It’s where something like the jobs to be done (JTBD) approach can help because it focuses on desired outcomes.

And this of course means focusing your research up-stream:


This is a hot topic at the moment and this is just a brief discussion of it. Below you can find more thinking on the subject, including the free online course that inspired much of this post.

Monthly #getrealinsight round-up

The good stuff we’ve read on Loving the problem this month:

Themes – A Small Change to Product Roadmaps with Large Effects

Love the problem (Free training course) – Learn the Secret to Building Products Your Customers Cannot Refuse

The problem roadmap – Why a problem roadmap is better than a feature one (spoiler: solves customer problems, avoids feature bloat)

Thanks for reading,
– Ben

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 27th, 2017 at 9:02 am and is filed under #getrealinsight. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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