The Best Answer

May 20, 2014

I find yes/no questions incredibly useful as filters to help guide complex decisions. Forcing a decision tree into a series of yes/no questions can help cut through the fog of apples-to-oranges comparisons, bias, or ambiguous data. Recently, with respect to product, I like to ask this one:

Have you created the best answer to somebody’s question?

In this question, “somebody” represents the customer, “question” the need or problem, and together they represent your market. If you can definitively answer “yes”—even for a narrowly-defined market (e.g. San Francisco smartphone owners looking for a ride on demand)—you’ve created the basis for a monopoly.

Similarly, growth means either changing the somebody or changing the question. And retention means making sure the answer to the original question stays “yes.”