Somewhere To StartApril 24, 2022
“It was pretty easy once you pointed me in the right direction”
- Aech describing how he found the clue (Ready Player One by Ernest Cline)
When the problem we face is so difficult that we don’t know where to start, what we need more than anything is to narrow the scope to something manageable.
We can obtain this externally:
- By phoning a friend or colleague for help
- By asking for an observation from someone with another perspective
- By researching what others have done before
Or we can find it internally:
- By limiting our field of vision, to solve just one smaller problem instead of the whole thing
- By reframing the problem in terms of something we’re more familiar with
- Or by adding a simplifying assumption: “for the moment, let's assume the answer lies somewhere in quadrant A”
Sometimes the hardest part of hard problems is defining them in terms of something we’re willing to tackle.