Breaking problems down

A few weeks ago I read a blog post by Tom Tunguz, which basically split product features into 3: MMRs (minimum market requirements), Differentiators, Neutraliser, which is a brilliant segmentation of product feature. Do read the post.

Segmentation Simplifies

Segmentation is a very powerful concept in every field. While the concept is popular in the marketing field, it is either knowingly or unknowing used in every vertical of an organization. The advantage of breaking down problems, products, metrics, leads, clients or anything else for that matter is the simplification of whatever task you are working on.

On the sales side, prospects are always segmented into high tickets/whales or low ticket/long tail. Sales & Business Development teams are at times segmented by the role, there are the hunters who job it is to get new clients on board and farmers, who specialize in growing current account. Breaking the Sales problem into distinct segments, the way to approach the problem becomes clear.

Marketing usually pushes the limits of segmentation. From drive-by users to abandoned carts, users can be segmented into micro-segments which have distinct messages and offers for each segment.

Breaking Problems down for founders.

From a founder perspective, taking all your goals for the year and breaking them down is the sanest mechanism when working to build a rocket-ship. You can break it down in whatever way that suits your organization, break it down into smaller problem statements which can be take up by different people or break it down into problems that can take one at a time. Build a rocket today to take a picture of the Mars today, and build a reusable rocket tomorrow. The more you slice and dice the problem, the more manageable, doable and simpler it will seem. Growing traffic for a website might seem like a hard challenge, but once you break your current traffic sources down, under each of them, you can get a sense of which source you can leverage and grow the fastest or in the easiest fashion.

Internal, External, Controllable and Uncontrollable factors.

An advantage of breaking any problem is the fact you can break it down into things you can control and those that you can’t. Ideally, you should attach the internal controllable problems first, then move the external controllable problems next, and then try to attack the rest so that they become more controllable or you internalize the problem in some fashion.

Taking a website traffic example, the type of content you write is always in your control, but how the content will do organically on Facebook is not under your control, it is an external, uncontrollable aspect of your traffic. Spending ad dollars on Facebook is controllable but is still an external factor.

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Have you ever broken problems down? Do comment below and let me know.

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