So far, we have heard the slogan “Love the problem – not the solution!” already in two of DigiReactor’s morning events. Anssi Rantanen and Ali Jahangiri both talked about that – and they were perhaps not the only ones. “Love the problem” – what does that really mean? Problem is usually something that we want to get rid of as fast as possible, isn’t it?

Ash Maurya, a founder and an entrepreneur of Leanstack, is the father of lean startup as well as that slogan. His excellent Blog from the year 2016 (https://blog.leanstack.com/love-the-problem-not-your-solution/) is a good starting point if you wish to learn more about this topic.

As we understand, loving the problem means that in order to be able to create a really useful service or product you will have to understand what actually is the problem that calls for a solution. You will need to study your target customers’ behaviour, values and consuming preferences. There you will actually need the same skills that we researchers need. You will need to know what are the most suitable ways to acquire data of the problems and needs, how to analyse and interpret that data.

That all sounds very intuitive. Why do we need to remind ourselves on that? We, as humans, tend to rush into solutions. And especially if we already have competences for problem solving – such as technical skills, market and industry knowledge or an understanding of the existing solutions available. We have been educated to use those skills and knowledge. However, what we actually would need, is a child-like curiosity. Take nothing for granted and be brave to ask the ‘stupid’ questions. DigiReactor’s From idea to digital service and product coaching set provides you an opportunity to become that Alice in the Wonderland of digital service development.

Satu Aaltonen
Project Researcher
Turku School of Economics
University of Turku

Antti Tuomisto
Turku School of Economics
University of Turku

Additional materials: 

A bit old, but nice reminder of the entrepreneurial state of mind needed in this digital service development journey is from Robert Wuebker: “So what it is that I am not doing?”: https://medium.com/@rwuebker/on-not-teaching-entrepreneurship-fc913ff073b6  

Other blogs by Leanstack can be found here  https://blog.leanstack.com/