Some people are just looking for trouble and itching for a fight. These are the ones that are likely to be under the influence of an illegal substance or are just a drunk alcoholic. Arguing with others just for the sake of arguing is what they crave and once they set their mind on this nothing’s going to stop them. This is the problem we all live with.
But you aren’t snorting any powders or drinking liquids.
Maybe you’re a blogger looking for a problem to solve in your next article?
Or maybe you test software and look for bugs in the latest version?
Perhaps you designed a new machine and wanted to head off any potential safety issues?
There are several reasons why people might seek out problems, and these are just a few examples. Knowing where to look and who to talk with can help identify the problem so much easier. After all, time is money and when you can save both then everybody benefits! Here are some techniques you can use to identify likely issues that need to be addressed.
Observe People Actively And Passively
Sometimes the best way to find the problem to sit back and watch others. Some of the best places to people watch our online videos or in business districts where you have an overhead view of the area.
Keep in mind that you may not be able to hear those people in the distant and what they’re talking about. It’s not difficult to figure out from their body language when they are under stress and when they are relaxed.
When watching videos, online video bloggers (also known as vloggers) might make throwaway comments. You should take notes every time these come up, and they can be opportunities for problems to solve.
When interacting with another individual or small groups try to listen more often than you talk. By letting others do all the talking, they are more likely to bring out the troubles that they’re having. You might not be able to make a note to yourself right there on the spot. You may need to take a break from the conversation more often than normal to discretely record your thoughts.
Challenge Your Assumptions
Your assumptions are also a point of observation as they can become a filter. Try writing down all the assumptions that you have ahead of time before entering a conversation. It will help open yourself to allowing others to influence you even if it’s temporary.
You can always test your assumptions later, after the conversation to confirm if any are still true. Be sure to keep an open mind during the entire process. Just because a hypothesis is not proven is not debunked doesn’t mean that the assumption is valid.Writing down your #assumptions ahead of time. You can always test them later. Click To Tweet
Try asking people about their greatest difficulty. A typical question is “what do you want out of life” or “what do you want _____.” The real question might be “what don’t you want” or “what is not there.” In other words, find out what is missing from their life. These missing items, if you can incorporate them, can assist other people with solving their problems.
Stimulate Your Brain With A New Direction
Try to be exposed to new stimuli all the time purposely. Read a book on a topic that you aren’t particularly interested in. Watch a how-to video in unrelated industries to learn how those people solve their problems.
Approaching the topic from many angles doesn’t mean looking at it from the top or the side or underneath. It means from a mental viewpoint by asking questions such as “when do people want this?” or “when would people not want this?”, “when do people like this?” or “when do people not like this?” or “what if it’s heavy?”, “what if it’s lightweight?”, “what if it’s in a different shape?” There are several what-if questions for approaching a topic from a different angle.
Explore Interaction In A New Environment
Try putting the item into a new environment. Beach balls typically associate with a pool or a beach. But what if that beach ball is in the jungle, how would animals wild animals react to it?
What if that beach ball was in the desert where there is nothing but sun, cactus, and sand?
How about the beach ball in a cold environment such as the North Pole or the Antarctic?
After placing an object into a foreign environment, observe how it reacts to the surroundings. Also, watch how others react to it being in that location. Activities such as this can open up new ideas not only for problems to solve but also potential solutions too.
Discover The Problem We All Live With Challenging Others
Everybody has personal problems in their life whether it be relationships with their kids or with other people. A great resource for finding these personal challenges is on Google. Try typing in words “how do I” (without quotes), then space, and then a single letter. Google will try to complete your query based on what others search for. An example might be “how do I apply for a loan”.
Other personal challenges can be looking for gaps and an understanding of an issue. Personal problems such as a relationship can have many attributes. Such characteristics may include what the other person like or dislikes. Preferences may include favorite places, favorite food, and favorite drinks. These are all attributes to use for identifying relationship questions.
Meet With Business Professionals About Their Challenges
Besides personal problems, people can also have professional challenges in their work life. One of the best places to look on how to improve work life would be an expert in the industry. Ask to pay for a random business owner’s lunch in return for asking questions.
Web sites are another place you can ask questions such as Quora and Facebook. Post a question and dozens if not hundreds of people will be glad to provide you their day-to-day issues.
Sometimes finding professional challenge requires re-purposing an existing solution to a related problem. Reverse engineer the solution back to the problem and see how it applies to your situation.
Example: A sports car owner once worked at a medical device manufacturer. The company was trying to figure out how to buff out the roughness in their plastics. It turns out this sports car owner does the same thing when cleaning his vehicle. He revealed that he uses microfiber towels which the company then used on their plastics.
Another area to look for professional challenges is to review the history of the subject. Try to identify the weak point in the struggles as well as the high points and success stories. It might lead to the creation of a chronological timeline of events. Make sure to include not what happened but also why it happened. Point out any post-event analysis performed and lessons learned.
Piggyback On Problems That Others Already Found
Sometimes others have already had a head start identifying issues to solve. The three places to start looking are IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and SeedInvest. All are crowdfunding websites where people reveal new ideas and create campaigns to obtain capital.
Example: Over at indiegogo.com there is a vacuum cleaner attachment for cleaning delicate and heard to reach areas.
Example: At kickstarter.com someone came up with an ergonomic shovel.