Focus on the question

Published on 
2 min, 260 words

Categories: life

Questions are underrated. Lots of people focus on answers when they should be focussing on identifying the right question to ask.

It is a bit like that classic story that you should spend time sharpening your saw before trying to cut down a tree as it will actually be quicker. Identifying the question to ask is a bit like that.

In the book A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger there is a statement:

Every time you come up with a question, you should be wondering, What are the underlying assumptions of that question? Is there a different question I should be asking?

I like this. It is very easy to come up with a question and then focus on answering that. We should spend more time thinking before diving into the solution.

In the book it goes further and extends this to product design.

This means that instead of asking What will we do? or What will we build? the emphasis should be on What will we learn? And then you work backwards to the simplest possible thing—the minimum viable product—that can get you the learning,

This ties in nicely with the lean startup approach where the focus is based on learning by iterating.

I've been thinking about how we can improve the way we work? This is a very broad generic question that can include so many factors. Maybe I need to change the question.


A More Beautiful Question

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