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    alexdanco.com | 11/10/15 | 4 min
    86 reads14 comments
    86 reads
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    • deephdave
      Top reader this weekReading streakScout
      3 months ago

      The reason why we flip the problem around, to ‘what is the worst way we could solve this problem’, is because we haven’t been trained to think that way about problems. When we do the creative exercise, ‘what would be the worst way to solve this problem’, the answer usually comes to the top immediately.

      • dukie43 months ago

        This brilliant use of inversion for problem-solving works for determining the single most important thing, but also has lots of other potential applications!

        • Karenz2 months ago

          Sounds simple but it’s obviously not! All in the application!

    • 740digital2 months ago

      This is a tool for your life nav toolbox. It doesn’t purport to solve more than one problem at a time. I’m going be mindful of this and see if I keep this in the toolbox or not.

    • jackdille2 months ago

      I’ll give the method a whirl to be sure. I think for me what needs to be tackled most urgently is generally the item I want to avoid as long as possible.

    • thorgalle
      3 months ago

      Not really agreeing with this as a general mindset. It might be helpful to focus on "the most important thing" in some cases, but often you need a conjunction of 2 or more good elements for a successful outcome.

      Example: A) Your tech product works technically but the UX is horrible. Nobody understands it, nobody uses it. -> Fix the UX B) Your tech product is full of bugs, but the UI looks neat and understandable. People give up on it because it doesn't work. -> Fix the bugs C) You have bugs AND a bad UX. What is the most important thing now? I'd argue, first fix the bugs, then fix the UX.

      So adding 1 word to the question: "What's the next most important thing?" There will often be many equally important things you can do, and they are not "implementation details". What to do next is a decision weighted by importance, however you fill that in.

      1. Update (5/13/2020):

        *mistake: it's hard to define "equally important" if you don't measure importance in numbers. And making a decision on what to do next hopefully involves some kind of value judgment that already makes 1 thing more important than another.

        But 2 things can be important at the same time, right? Care for kid A, and care for kid B.

    • Gatsby3 months ago

      Great book to read if you’d like to dive deeper into this topic is Gary Keller’s The ONE Thing.

    • chad3 months ago

      good way to force yourself to step back and look at the bigger picture. sometimes it is so easy to get lost in the details of a half intuited plan right from the start without really considering the actual problem. wonderful tool well explained.

    • gmclean3 months ago

      File under: how I learned from my mistakes? See also: retrospectives and how to take forward good behaviours.

      I like the idea behind this, not always gonna be easy to apply but that’s the point!

    • Jim3 months ago


    • joanne3 months ago

      Intriguing concept, definitely could nudge that over thinking mind.

    • kurpels3 months ago

      This could help a ton of my problems with overthinking...or wanting to be all things for all people.

    • Florian
      Top reader this weekReading streak
      3 months ago

      Definitely worth a read. ‘What would be the WORST way for me to proceed? What would the worst possible outcome look like? And then ask: what is the opposite of that?

    • Pegeen3 months ago

      WOW, I LOVE this - brilliant! I am definitely going to try this. Seems really inspired to me. Do the opposite - very George Castanza!