Category: Uncategorized

Problem Solvers vs Solution Providers

Problem Solvers:

  • They are focused on the problem and don’t care what role they are playing to solve the problem. They want the problem to go away.
  • They empathize with the user who is facing this problem and want to know more. They have questions. They are curious.
  • They feel comfortable to step out of their day to day responsibilities, if it helps to solve the problem

Solution Providers:

  • They stick to their solutions, even if those makes sense – because they feel comfortable with it
  • They do not step out of their comfort zone as it might make them vulnerable.
  • They try to create boundaries around them so that anything outside their role is not their concern.  Never put themselves in place of users or peers

Become a Problem solver and not a Solution provider.

Why and Why?

Two types of people and how they react to WHY?

First Type:

  • If you are a seeker:

You are curious to learn. You want to know the context so that it helps you in future. You do not accept things because someone said so.

  • If you are a giver:

You take a moment to understand the problem. You are not annoyed with so many questions coming at you and you have to patiently reply to them. You feel comfortable saying “I don’t know, but I can help to find out”. You believe in sharing as the more you share the more people learn and the organization grows.

Second Type:

  • If you are a seeker:

You like to ask a question because you have an opportunity to ask a question. You think you are skeptic but you are a cynic – almost all the time. Learning is not your objective. You are not keen on the problem but want to check if the giver is ready to handle your question or not.

  • If you are a giver:

You think most of the questions asked to you are naive or stupid. You expect people to know stuff and you get annoyed when you hear questions.

The power of surprise

Ask — Will it surprise my audience? — If the answer is yes, then go ahead! It’s all about “Surprise Quotient” (SQ)

We all know how Dick Fosbury at Mexico 1968 games surprised the spectators by changing the paradigm of high jump and coined the new term — “Fosbury Flop”.

The element of surprise is what wows the audience, or makes an idea look innovative or disruptive (the two overly used words in the past few years).

Steve Job’s famous “One last thing …” is a perfect example of making the audience long for that surprise element. We all knew that he has a special secret for us. Secrecy and Apple go along very well, and I think it’s the secrecy — the surprise element which makes Apple fans die for the products.

Surprise has played a big role in meddling with human emotions. It also plays an important role in marketing too.

Beyonce surprised her fans by announcing about her new album on Instagram — it’s this non traditional way of launching an album — which got additional media and PR attention. And made her look even more cool!

As far as startups are concerned, they can use all the buzzwords like disruptive, innovation, hustler but it won’t make them successful until their product (or services) surprise their audience. The audience should fall “head over heels” for this new business. Be it disruption of Microsoft, Apple, Uber, Square (or the current favorite Bitcoin) — they attracted the users because they made us say — “Wow, I didn’t know this was possible in my lifetime!”

So, when you show your product to the users, see if their eyes glow. If they get excited! Try to gauge their “Surprise Quotient” (SQ).

(originally published on Medium)