Notes from Lean Product Playbook by Dan Olsen

• Problem space vs solution space – solution space is product and product design and development. Product lives in the solution and is the solution customer needs live in the problem space
• Author uses story of space pen vs Russian pencil as an example to not just jump to the solution stage. This is a bad example because in this case planning of the US won out. Pencils are Abbas idea in space because their components can easily find their way into the small crevices of spacecraft equipment. If the story is actually true then it shows Russians we’re asking the wrong questions while the Americans asked the right ones. As well spending $1 million on the space pen created a new market, people wanting space-related souvenirs. Whereas the pencil did not.
• Defining the problem is key. “A pen that works in space” vs “a way to records notes in zero gravity.” One is narrow and almost defines the solution and the other is open.
• Have an accurate understanding of the Problem market. Intuits competition was not other software providers. It was pen and paper.
• PMs focus on the what. Engineers on the how. Focus on what the problem is and what needs to be solved.
• Having customer discussions in the solution space is much easier than on the problem space. Customers don’t understand the problem or can’t articulate it. But they can show you how they currently or or are trying to do and tell you what frustrates them.
• Unipolar rating – positive number to higher positive number
• Bipolar rating- negative number to higher number, generally positive
• Must haves, performance improvements, and delights
• Weigh value by using importance and satisfaction level
• ROI calculation- Weigh what to put into a release by value of feature and investment cost in dev weeks. Or weigh value and investment broadly on 3×3 grid: high medium low