Finding the atomic number of Argon isn’t an interesting problem. Chances are you already know the answer, or you can look it up.
In his article Stop Stealing Dreams, Seth encouraged you to lead and solve interesting problems. Let’s break down on what exactly qualifies as solve interesting problems.
Breaking It Down
The word Solve can imply that there is a definite answer. But an interesting problem has multiple answers, and it can change tomorrow. So the right way is to challenge with an interesting problem.
If you find a problem which has constraints and you have work with it, then that’s not a problem you need to work with. You have to find problems where you can move along in many ways.
Interesting means there can’t be the right answer all the time, there will be failures – many times.
Let’s see 2 examples –
If the problem is to find the fastest way to throw a problem, then the answer is a set of linear things.
But consider, make a new jet design – now there can be many variations and methods to go about it. You can focus on speed, weight, money and 20 different things. There will be trade-offs you will need to do, and that’s what makes a problem interesting.
Another way to solve an interesting problem is to see who is the end-user. Based on that, you can solve for a particular axis.
Often you need to be prepared to bring something new to the table. That way, your solution will be new. And in many exciting problems require novelty.
Consider the television show. It was an interesting problem to come up with a 30-minute sitcom show that will be successful.
But then came pay tv. And most of the constraints like a censor, runtime and episode number were removed. Now the interesting problem became how can you make a show that will urge people to stop watching network TV and instead opt for pay-TV.
What Should You Say To Your Kid
First, you need to make your kid understand that it’s okay to not get an A. Instead of pushing them to find the right answer, encourage them to come up with an interesting question.
Also, there is an interesting problem all around. Solving a new type of lawsuit is an interesting problem. Getting along with colleagues at work when the rules keep changing is an interesting problem.
You have brainwashed to find the right answer. Instead, go find what’s interesting.
- You advise to write and make a podcast for enjoyment despite you claiming that the average person is making way less money. But shouldn’t you be encouraging that only if you can seek influence or wealth?
For most history of time, you weren’t paid to share your voice. In the 1900s or so, the gatekeepers came in and made it scarce to share your voice. Hence, creatives made a living.
But the internet came, and the scarcity went away. Hence there is always a substitute for your digital content. So it is hard to charge for that. If you make a living eventually, then that’s a lottery.
So it is good to share your voice and make a shift as a hobby.
The other equation is that you can sure make a living from a small audience. If you can capture the attention, trust and command of 1000 true fans, then you can make a living even with a small audience.
It’s just hard to do that. Keeping the equation of money outside you will help you create better work. And chances are that will earn you money.