Problems vs. Solutions

What’s the difference of problems and solutions? If you asked me, I’d say the following:

  • A problem is a known unknown. It’s our assumption that needs clarity.
  • A solution is a known known. Its the facts we gain from having clarity.

Clarity relies on the fact that our assumption is correct. Most of the time, our assumptions are wrong. Our assumptions might even solve a different problem altogether. Here’s a way you can think about problems further.

Being able to articulate a problem helps us gain clarity.

“A problem well-articulated is a problem half solved.”

Charles Kettering

The other half of the problem is designing a process that makes it possible for you to gain clarity of the problem.

You might notice that the main idea here is the idea of being able to communicate both a problem and solution is how we gain clarity. It is the result of our communication that brings clarity.

You can instead think of it as:

  • Step 1: Communicate the problem well.
  • Step 2: Communicate the solution well.

If you can communicate both of these aspects well, you have gained clarity to the puzzle. You can prove your ability to solve any problem this way.