The Problem Hypothesis

Image Credit:


The problem hypothesis is a way to think about the viability of your product in a concrete, testable way. It works by reframing your idea for a product as a very specific problem. Say you’ve built a website that lets people order groceries and get them faster. That’s an idea that sounds like it could be good. It could also be bad. It’s hard to tell. When you reframe it as a problem, however, you see it differently: People like to buy groceries, but it takes them too long to get to the store and actually buy them. This is no longer a situation where you can say, “Hmm, could be good—could be bad.” Instead, you have a clearly verifiable statement. People like to buy groceries, but it takes too long—this is something that you can easily prove to be true or false in a few steps: * Go out and talk to the people waiting outside of Whole Foods for their Lyft to arrive. * Ask them how much time they spend grocery shopping every week. * Look everywhere for data to either prove that your hypothesis is correct or incorrect. * Use what you learn to either keep building, ditch the project, or pivot to build something more aligned with what people really need. * The simplicity of this technique is deceptive. Used correctly, the problem hypothesis can turn seemingly arbitrary decisions into ones you can validate quite easily. —Hiten Shah

Read More