How to find and solve a product problem: Part 1 — Planning

Meet Halo — A social network for locals

At, we build an app people use to connect with their local community, think of it as all the group chats based around the topics for where you live collected together in one place.

Step 1— Problem hypothesis formation that focuses on the jobs that create ‘utility.’

Our goal is to find a single-player mode for the product, a type of utility that means anyone can pick up and start hiring our product to do a job for them. For Instagram is was filters on photos, with Pinterest, it’s a personal board filled from all the existing content. This means that whilst we need to go wide with our problem/solution interviews, we’ll only listen for the insights that enable someone to get some value out of local without involving others, this will be our defined problem focus.

Halo’s Personas

From a lot of time speaking to people in our app and the standard customer-development methods, like Google Design Sprints, we know who the early users of our hyperlocal network are, the types of people below account for around 1 in 10 in any area. A population that’s addressable and also safeguards that we don’t build ourselves into a (customer)corner.

Step 2 - Finding the right questions

With these people in mind, we now need to build a list of questions we think could uncover the needs/pains/gains that these people feel around being local. The caveat, of course, is that they need to be ‘everyone’ pains; these questions must conduit us to outcomes we believe can serve a large number of people.

  1. I want to discover who lives nearby.
  2. Find people who’d love to collaborate with me locally.
  3. National things happening in my locality.
  4. Learn more about my area or future areas I’d be interested in
  5. See, meet those nearby like me.
  6. Give me a feeling of community locally (confirm for me what my community is)
  7. Help me find support for my local ideas.
  8. I want to meet a specific group of people locally [techies, singles, parents]
  9. Help me (in real life) meet the locals, people I’d never normally meet, but will because we are locked into the same community.
  10. Show me everything that’s going on nearby both online and offline.

Step 3 — Running interviews, gathering insights and (in)validating jobs

Assuming that the participants are lined up, and chats are happening, it’s now a case of using the insight we have to test which jobs are truly problems we can be hired for.



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