Understand the problem first

22Oct09

Recently I was talking to someone that was telling me about how he is going to start a business that helps people find things on the internet. He went on to explain that it is very difficult for people to find what they are looking for because there is just too much information on the Internet. I couldn’t resist, so asked if he had ever heard of Google. So he explained to me that Google sucks as do the other online search engines. He told me that his idea was a different way of thinking about search.

He started telling me why it was a different way of thinking but I had a question that I wanted him to answer first, and that was: What would you do differently from Google? After looking at me with a very perplexed look on his face he responded with: Well I don’t really know how they do what they do, but I know it can be done better.

Unfortunately this is all too the case. People try coming up with solutions without understanding the problem or how current solutions work. Why reinvent the wheel? Understand the problem. Understand the current solutions. Then you are in a better position to not only know what you are talking about, but prove it as well.

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