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Mastering Problem Solving: Unleashing First Principle Thinking for Bus

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses a problem-solving approach called "first principle thinking" that involves breaking down a problem to its most basic elements, challenging assumptions, and reconstructing the solution from the ground up. The author shares a personal experience of a computer crash before an important presentation and how he used this approach to come up with an innovative solution.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] To Solve a Problem, You Must First Forget

1. What is the key to unlocking the potential to solve problems according to the author? The author states that to unlock the potential to solve problems, one must first "throw away the keys of assumptions" and break down the problem into its most basic form of understanding. This involves deconstructing the problem to its most basic elements, challenging the assumptions, and peeling the onion to get down to the truth.

2. What is "first principle thinking" and why is it effective? First principle thinking is a problem-solving approach where one starts from the most basic principles or assumptions, rather than relying on common knowledge or past experiences. The author explains that this is effective because it allows you to see the bigger picture and come up with innovative, unseen solutions, rather than getting stuck in the maze of the problem.

3. Why do most people not use first principle thinking, even if they know it is effective? The author explains that the reason most people don't use first principle thinking is not due to lack of knowledge, but rather the inability to apply that knowledge consistently until it becomes a habit. He compares it to why people struggle to get fit even when they know the principles of healthy eating and exercise.

[02] The Problem Solver's Guide

1. What are the key steps in the author's problem-solving framework? The author outlines the following key steps:

  • Visualize the problem in its entirety, either mentally or by drawing it out
  • Deconstruct the problem to its most basic elements and assumptions
  • Take a break to allow the brain's "default mode network" to activate and subconsciously process the information
  • Reconstruct the solution by connecting the basic elements in a novel way

2. How does the author suggest using this framework to solve the computer crash problem? The author demonstrates how he applied the framework to the computer crash problem. He broke down the problem into its core objectives (building trust, showcasing expertise, creating a connection, and demonstrating results) and then came up with an innovative solution of turning the presentation into an interactive game using handwritten notes.

[03] When Problems Turn Into Wins

1. What is the key insight the author shares about problems? The author explains that every problem presents a hidden opportunity. By approaching problems with a first principle mindset and looking for innovative solutions, one can not only solve the immediate problem but also seize the underlying opportunity it presents, such as standing out from competitors and establishing a deeper connection with prospects.

2. How does the author suggest embracing problems as opportunities? The author encourages readers to start applying first principle thinking to daily challenges, breaking down complex problems into simple elements, questioning assumptions, and rebuilding solutions with clarity. He suggests making this a consistent habit, as it will cultivate the ability to see problems as puzzles to be solved rather than obstacles to overcome.

[04] Thinking Ahead: Your Next Steps

1. What are the key steps the author recommends for readers to become effective problem-solvers? The author suggests the following next steps for readers:

  • Practice applying first principle thinking to daily challenges
  • Embrace problems as opportunities in disguise, and seek them out
  • Cultivate a consistent problem-solving methodology, rather than relying on individual insights
  • Recognize that effective problem-solving is a skill that can be developed through ongoing practice
  • Aim to become known as a go-to problem-solver, as this is the core of successful business - solving problems and getting paid for it.
Shared by Daniel Chen ยท
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