I strongly recommend to work carefully with defining a problem, and there are many questions to ask in order to do so. This time I choose to focus on knowledge, which you should always be conscious of. We can split this in to three categories: FACTS, ASSUMPTIONS and IGNORANCE. Facts are what we know with (almost) 100% certainty, Assumptions are what we think we know and Ignorance is, not unexpected; what we need to know.
Next time you are defining a situation or a problem, I recommend plotting the different thoughts in to these categories. Most people are surprised how many fits in to assumptions and not facts …. It can cause you to solve anything other than the actual problem.
If you find it difficult to let go of the idea that you do not always know, we can see if these familiar assumptions can inspire:
“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” -Charles Duell, Commissioner, US Office of Patents, 1899
“Television won’t last because people will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, movie producer, 20th Century Fox, 1946
“640 kilobytes ought to be enough for anybody.”-Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft (talking about computer memory in 1981)