John Allspaw has a great tweet on problem discovery:
Reminder that it takes just as much effort (time, money, staff, etc.) to build the wrong thing as it does the right thing.
Problem discovery is under appreciated as a practice in software engineering, especially when compared to problem solving.
— John Allspaw (@allspaw) April 27, 2018
I’ve always loved the tweet, but I only recently noticed the paper he cites in the thread. It’s called “The Art of Problem Discovery: Adaptive Thinking for Innovation and Growth”, by Brian Mathews.
In the prologue, the paper tells the origin story of Swiffer – Proctor & Gamble’s billion-dollar hit product line. It all started with a simple question: “how can we make the floors cleaner?”