I'm Tom and welcome to my site.

Want to learn how I went from writing nearly nothing to writing thousands of words a month?

($37 value). Read more here.

Enter your email address here for free updates and your free eBook. (Guaranteed 100% privacy.)

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz
E-Book Testimonials

"Thomas Clifford has made something useful here. This report will give you some really catchy, useful ideas.

It made me reconsider how I do what I do, so you might give it a look-see, too!" 

Chris Brogan, President, Human Business Works 

"Tom Clifford is by trade a filmmaker. For most of his life, he rarely wrote anything longer than a brief comment in the margin of a script. 

Now, though, he's producing tens of thousands of words a year, first as a Fast Company "Expert Blogger," and then as a writer for the Content Marketing Institute. 

How did Tom go from a non-writer to a prolific and much-read one? His eBook, '5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways . . . , ' holds some of his secrets."

Mark Levy, Author of "Accidental Genius: Using Writing to Generate your Best Ideas, Insight, and Content"

“Tom is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet—if you have the privilege to meet him. And he does sterling work as well. But don’t just take my word for it.

Read this free report and you’ll not just love its tone and content, but learn a lot as well.”

Sean D’Souza, Psychotactics.com

“Anyone who wants to improve their writing needs this e-book. A lot of ebooks are short because they just don’t have much substance to offer. They’re not worth your time (and so are many of the long ones, too, for that matter). Tom’s is short because he’s so good at giving you only what you need to know. 

‘5 (Ridiculously Simple) Ways to Write Faster, Better, Easier’ lives up to its promise by example as well as in the words themselves. Tom used the very same techniques he teaches you to write this book. 

And what’s in here is not just a rehash of the same tired ideas you find coming from people who have suddenly fancied themselves as writing gurus. There are tricks in here I never heard of (like the Writing Funnel) and some I had forgotten about and was glad to be reminded of (like Sporadic Writing).” 

Michael Martine, Blog Alchemist, Remarkablogger.com 

« Age of Conversation: Take 2 | Main | Are You Using Your Ears to See Your Company’s Video Story? »

Isn't the Problem Defining a Solution?

Ultimately, yes.

But first, it's about defining the problem.

Let's say you're starting a new video project. You might be solving the wrong problem by spending too much time on the solution (the video) and not enough time defining the problem. Then you might wind up with a mismatch on your hands. Oops!

For most of us, it's a lot easier to jump to solutions, isn't it?

"Let's do this." "Let's do that." 

Defining the problem accurately may be more challenging than coming up with solutions; and it takes more time.

What does this have to do with your video story?

During initial conversations with your filmmaker, the solution may get a lot of attention.

It's tempting to focus on the solution

It's natural. It's like someone is focusing the spotlight on the "solution" while the "problem" goes wandering off the stage. And yes, I still fall into that trap, too. :)

Solutions are solutions because they solve a specific problem

Seems obvious, but you can't create a solution until the problem is clearly defined.

Move off the solution

If, at the beginning of a project, you find yourself focusing more time on the solution than the problem, move off the solution. Ask yourself: "What exactly is the problem I'm trying to solve?" Defining the problem clearly gives you a direct path to your solution. 

The problem isn't defining the solution.

The problem is defining the problem

Then the solution is right around the corner. :-)

What do you think? Do you first start with solutions? Or do you start with defining the problems? What works for you? Drop me a note.  

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

Tom, this is great. One of my favorite quotes in the world comes from Einstein: "If I had only an hour to save the world, I would spend 50 minutes defining the problem, and 10 minutes executing the solution."
October 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Martine
Hi Michael! That's a great quote, indeed!

Thanks for swinging by. :)
October 27, 2008 | Registered CommenterThomas Clifford

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.