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Written by Alexander Hipp


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Leaving The Problem Space

Working on Beyond, so far, we've been deeply in the problem space. We started with a clear problem statement but without a particular idea or product. So, in the beginning, we spent quite a lot of time talking to potential users to understand their problems.

When is the right time to leave the problem space and move from a full-time discovery mode to execution? In theory, it should never happen completely. There should be a continuous stream of reassurance and user feedback coming in all the time. Nevertheless, I genuinely believe that it makes sense to switch to execution mode temporarily for a short time.

After you have finally figured out how the product that could reach PMF needs to look and work, you can switch for a short time to execution mode. Trust your gut feeling and focus on building the smallest testable version.

When your product is live, and real people use it, feedback focuses on the product itself. Therefore, it's essential to keep in mind that the feedback might become too narrow. Too solution-oriented. Always think beyond your current live product and where it might evolve into next.

In the problem space, everything is possible, and the sky is the limit. The solution space, in contrast, looks very focused and narrow. Therefore, it's crucial to make these transitions between the two modes evident to everyone involved.

With small teams, it's essential to have this kind of transparency. Declaring execution mode for a few days to ship the next iteration to learn something and therefore pause deep-dive interviews can be a real game-changer when it comes to speed and velocity.

Everyone should always focus on the most important thing, and therefore it's crucial to develop a healthy cadence between solution mode and problem space exploration. It's essential to leave the problem space, but it's even more critical to create an environment where you can easily switch back to it.

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