Solving Problems That Don’t Exist: Sliced Bread Syndrome
Updated: Jan 6
Most inventors think their idea is the best thing since sliced bread and their friends and family all agree that is an incredible idea and wholeheartedly support them (not wanting to hurt their feelings). You must be sure that your idea is solving isn't solving a problem that doesn't exist, and that there are customers you are willing to pay for your solution at a price that will make you a profit.
To effectively use resources and have a positive impact on the bottom line, it's important to identify whether or not the problems you're trying to solve exist.
Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of trying to solve problems that don't rxist, whether it be a product improvement, a new process, or a marketing strategy, wasting time and resources on solutions that may have little to no impact on the situation.
Solving Problems That Don't Exist
1. Enhancing creativity
One of the great benefits of solving problems that don't exist is that it can help to enhance creativity.
When problem-solving, many people focus on tackling existing issues, which can be limiting and can even stifle the creative process.
By looking at and solving hypothetical issues, we can tap into our imaginations, allowing us to explore and create new and innovative ideas that can be applied to real-world problems.
This approach can be especially useful for businesses or organizations that are looking for new ways to remain competitive.
Of course, solving problems that don't exist can be useful and can be a logical step in the progression to finding the perfect solution to your Design, think of solving a problem that doesn't exist as a logical way to discover what works by ruling out what doesn't.
How do you find problems worth solving?
First and foremost, it is essential to have an understanding of the industry you are looking to address. This should include an understanding of recent trends, customer needs and pain points, and the competitive landscape. Pat Flynn calls this the competitive landscape.
Additionally, conducting market and customer research can help to identify potential areas and opportunities for growth. This research can provide insight into customer issues that could be addressed and solved with a new product or service.
Lastly, understanding the current state of the industry can help to identify gaps and weaknesses that can be exploited.
2. Developing a more comprehensive understanding of a system
When you are looking for a solution for a problem that doesn't exist, you are forced to consider how all the parts of a system work together and how even the smallest changes can have a large impact.
This can help you to develop a deeper understanding of the system, which can be applied in ways that you wouldn't have considered before.
This could ultimately lead to more efficient and effective solutions that could save time, money, and resources.
Think of solving a problem that doesn't exist as a logical way to discover what works by ruling out what doesn't
3. Discovering new areas of improvement
Again one benefit of solving problems that don't exist is that it forces you to think outside of the box and explore new areas of improvement.
By tackling problems that don't necessarily have an obvious solution, you will be able to discover new areas of improvement that may have gone unnoticed.
This discovery process can lead to innovations in your industry or area of expertise and can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Solving problems that don't exist also gallows youto learn new skills and build your knowledge base. This, in turn, can open up new possibilities for career advancement.
How to Know if You are Solving Problems That Don’t Exist
1. Identifying the Problem at Hand
Identifying the problem at hand is the first step in determining whether you are solving the actual problem or not. Before you start crafting a solution, you need to be sure that you are aackling a real problem.
Take the time to ask yourself: is there a genuine need for the product or service I am creating? Do people have a problem that I am trying to solve? Are there already solutions to this problem? What value can I add?
Once you have identified a genuine problem, you can then move on to determining whether the solution you are creating is the right one.
2. Assessing available data on the problem
It is important to assess the data you have available to you to know if you’re solving problems that don’t exist.
To do this, you should ask yourself questions like: Are there any existing surveys or reports on the problem?
Are there similar products in different industries?
Are there any metrics or KPIs that can help me identify the severity of the problem?
How many years of data do I have on this problem? What type of data do I have?
Answering these questions can help you get a better understanding of the data you have to work with and can help you determine if the problem is real.
3. Does it affect multiple people?
To understand whether a problem you are trying to solve is real or not is to consider how many people are affected by the issue.
If you are only trying to solve a problem that affects a small group of people, then it might not be worth investing large amounts of time or resources.
On the other hand, if you find that the issue affects a large number of people, then you may have identified a real and pressing problem.
Having a better understanding of how many people are impacted by the problem and who they are can help you decide whether or not you are solving a problem that truly exists.
4. Consult With Experts
Business experts play an integral role in helping to ensure that the right problems are being solved.
Consulting with a business expert can help to identify and focus on the real problems that need to be addressed and avoid the pitfalls of solving problems that don't exist.
Industry experts can provide insight into the root causes of inefficiencies and offer solutions to improve efficiency, as well as help to identify and prioritize the most impactful problems that need to get the most bang for your buck.
With their experience and expertise, they can also provide valuable advice on how to best implement solutions and measure their success without wasting time and money.
If you need help developing your idea please contact us for more information.