Exercise to help you spin the reels of the Customer Problem Solution slot machine.
People struggle with this all the time. This might help.
START WITH THE PROBLEM. Let's use TRAFFIC as an example.
Take a white board or a GIANT sticky note and put the problem in the middle.
Now spend 10 minutes with your team thinking about which segment is most affected by the problem. Now the fun part, pick a segment that might ENJOY this problem. This is not a segmentation exercise or a persona exercise. It is a thought exercise to see how pushing different levers controls different things.
In the case of traffic, maybe CERTAIN types of taxi drivers who get paid by TIME and don't yet have hybrid cars actually enjoy traffic. Maybe the father of newborn quadruplets doesn't mind traffic right now either. Maybe someone studying for the MCATS who has their books on tape doesn't care about sitting in the car for an extra half hour each way. Similar for die hard Howard Stern Fans.
Now come back to the segment that really feels the pain. Dive deeper and you have the DNA set.
Now you can do something similar for the solution.
Depending on the customer and problem set that you end up on... the solution will be different.
Maybe it is a faster horse.
Maybe it is congestion pricing.
But maybe it is simply adding a radio or air conditioning.
And maybe it is skype.
Think about it!