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You can solve many problems in many ways, but you can also build a beautiful product that solves no problems.
Though many factors contribute to a project’s failure, nothing is more certain to cause a project to fail than a misunderstanding of the problem you are solving.A few tips for this step: In the end it’ll be judgement call amongst many tradeoffs. Depending on the way your team operates, and how much is already known, this can be very high level or very detailed.Your job is to make the best case you can with the data you have. Answer that question and write it down in this section. In my experience the key here is aligning with your designer(s) to figure out how much detail they want and what would be most helpful in the process. The larger and more complex the project, them more likely they are different.What makes it clear to you that this problem needs to be tackled?Sometimes at this step you realize this problem isn’t actually worth prioritizing right now, or that you need to adjust how you think about the problem.I find it most effective if a single person takes the first pass (usually the PM, but doesn’t have to be). This is just a brief description of what you’re thinking, so that folks reading this doc can quickly grok what this project is all about. The problem statement itself is foundational so spend extra time there. What do you believe the problem you are solving is, and why? Key attributes of a strong problem statement include: This is where you collect evidence backing up your problem statement, aka hypothesis.What initially convinced you that this was a problem?As such, it makes sense to devote as much attention and dedication to problem definition as possible.What usually happens is that as soon as we have a problem to work on we’re so eager to get to solutions that we neglect spending any time refining it.In the example above, we recognized too late that the real problem we should have been solving was not “travelers want to hang out with other travelers”, but instead, “travelers want to find high quality non-touristy things to do.” Hanging out with other travelers is one solution to this, not the actual problem.Luckily another team recognized this and ended up launching a much better solution, Airbnb Experiences, a few years later.