Elegant Solutions to Real Problems

I have been lucky to have worked in virtually all areas of marketing and sales strategy in my career. But … the one thing I keep coming back to is how much I love talking to loads of people about the real problems they face. I equally love taking this information to work with designers and architects to come up with really elegant solutions.

When I say elegant solutions what do I mean? I mean solutions that are intuitive. Solutions that save time. Solutions that make people feel good to use them.

When I say real problems what do I mean? I mean problems for which a solution would make a different. Problems that evoke negative emotions or negative consequences. They can still be first world problems, but they have to matter.

Can you have an elegant solution to an insignificant problem? I don’t think so! Do companies try to create elegant solutions to problems they don’t even understand or lose site of – you bet. But ranting on “inside-out” versus “outside-in” could be another whole blog series.

Let me give you an example. As we have been talking to people about travel planning, I have been stunned about how big of a problem this is. Yes, stunned! Many people have told us that they have not taken trips because planning it was so painful. Although I have said this before, I continue to be floored by how often I hear it.

So, before finalizing on an elegant solution to this problem, it is incumbent on us to understand its root cause. We have been speaking with dozens of people about it,  but it is not enough. We need a lot primary research to make sure we get the basis of this problem before we lock down on a solution. We are now at the stage where we need to ensure we have the problem nailed to make sure the solution is an elegant one. Otherwise, we will not stand out in an ocean of online travel garbage. More important, we don’t want to built anything less than something elegant anyway.

So now I have an ask. Can you help us with this primary research on the problem?

We have a survey of 11 questions that should take no more than 2-3 minutes to complete. Please complete it and then – if you didn’t find it too painful – send it to your network. We don’t even ask for an optional email address.

What is in it for you and everyone else who fills it out? Maybe nothing in terms of immediate gratification. However, with any luck, you will have helped with the creation of an elegant solution that you can benefit from in the not-too-distant future.

’til next time … Kirk, out!

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