Stop focusing on the solution, focus on the problem.

Focus on the problem, not the solution.

I just spent about a half an hour looking online for replacement photo sleeves for a baby album that sits on a shelf in my office. I needed to do this because the sleeve was torn.

After coming up empty and thinking I’d have to toss the whole thing in the trash I realized something pretty obvious…

There were about two dozen unused sleeves in the back of the album.

How often do you get fixated on the solution to a problem that you stop actually thinking about the problem you’re trying to solve?


  1. gopalshenoy on November 29, 2018 at 8:00 am

    More often than one wants. This is because solving a problem is fun, creative that I feel the brain naturally wants to move there. This is the trap because without deeply understanding the problem, you could some up with solutions that either solves the wrong problem or solves the problem half assed. If the latter happens, we tend to give it a glorified name of “MVP”. Techniques I have found helpful are asking 5 Why’s and also writing down the problem statement – for me the process of writing brings up a lot of questions that I am forced to seek clarity on understanding the problem even more.

    • Joe Cotellese on November 30, 2018 at 5:37 am

      You’re right Gopal, the 5 why’s are a great technique for gaining clarity. Thanks for dropping by.

Please share your thoughts.

Joe Cotellese
Product Manager
Joe Cotellese
Doylestown, PA

My first professional job involved playing video games for 9 hours a day. After experiencing early signs of brain rot, I decided to teach myself how to write software.

My entire career is characterized by this “why not?” attitude.

I'm currently the co-founder of AppJawn, the software company behind the amazing recipe organizer app ClipDish.

I also help transform companies into product driven organizations as a fractional CPO.


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I don't get any paid compensation directly to write product reviews. I think that's pretty scammy.