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Problem/Solution Discovery

Matt O'Connell
Matt O'Connell

What is "Problem Discovery" and what is "Solution Discovery"?

Problem Discovery – What is the problem that needs solving?


Solution Discovery – How can the problem be solved significantly better than the alternatives so that customers choose your solution?

Marty Cagan's interview with Lenny Rachitsky is phenomenal and worth a listen. [1] In the interview, Marty Cagan talks to the importance of getting solution discovery right.

" you solve it better than everybody else, so they buy you?"

– Marty Cagan

Solution discovery is incredibly important because much of our time innovating is spent here (or it should be). Solution discovery results in experiments that help shape our ideas and ideas that turn into real value for our customers and business.

So how do you get it right?

One framework I've found transformative for working on solution discovery is Teresa Torres' Opportunity Solution Trees (OSTs) [2]

OSTs allow you to visualize opportunities (customer pain points, needs, challenges) to support quicker tactical decision-making and break up complex problems into manageable solutions. OSTs tie what matters most to customers and business to the actual work.

OSTs will NOT do the work for you, but they will bring order to the chaos and clarity to decision-making.

I believe this way of working is so powerful and freeing that some friends and I took a risk and decided to go full-time to make it easier for companies to enable their teams to work this way.

If you're looking to get started with Opportunity Solution Trees or have questions and want to see them in action, book a demo of find me on Linkedin. I love talking about this kind of thing.

If you're looking for a better way to visualize your team's discovery work so you can improve how you innovate - Try out Vistaly for free.


Vistaly is a single workspace for connecting strategy, discovery, and delivery –– visually

Built for product and go-to-market teams –– efficient separately, unstoppable together.

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Matt O'Connell
Matt O'Connell