Nested problems, nested solutions (3): theoretical problems

This is part of a series thinking through the different layers involved in solving real-world problems. It’s a sketch of ideas in process, and not supposed to be a fully formed or coherent theory. A theoretical problem is a problem for which the underlying causes are unknown. The problem to be solved is your ignorance. You might start with a…

Nested problems, nested solutions (2): trivial problems

If you missed it, start with yesterday’s post. A problem is anything we want to change – however trivial or enormous. Our very simplest problems have immediate symptoms and immediate solutions: a (non-recurring) itchy nose can be scratched and the problem is solved. Many trivial problems can be “solved” by the decision that they are not important and can be…

Nested problems, nested solutions (1): what’s your problem?

I’ve posted about nested problems before as The Wrapper, and The Onion (1), (2), (3), (4). It helps to begin by defining “problem”. A problem isn’t necessarily big or important and doesn’t necessarily require action: it’s simply anything that you want to change. We face hundreds of problems every day: My morning alarm is disturbing me – how can I…

Resource: Seth Godin on Business Models

I think of the business model as the enabling “wrapper” around the “technical” solution you make happen. If you’re a plumber, it’s all the business stuff. If you’re a teacher, it might be the whole infrastructure of a school. In a non-profit, it’s the rest of the “onion” around the thing you want to do that actually makes a difference…

Striding Edge

One of the most famous walks in England is along a high ridge in the Lake District called Striding Edge. It runs to the east of the mountain called Helvellyn, one of the highest mountains in England, and particularly in bad weather, one of the most dangerous. Most English mountains are relatively safe, but that’s one of the ones that…

Resource: Steve Blank on the startup journey

“How to Raise Money – It’s a Journey Not An Event” (blog post and podcast by Steve Blank, embedded below) is a fantastic resource for understanding the different stages of development in the early life of a new company, and how priorities shift. It’s helpful for anyone who wants to understand the world of funding rounds for startups (seed funding, Series…