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The UnCollege Blog

The "What You Need to Believe" Framework to Problem Solving

A powerful way to frame discussions is to ask, what do you need to believe for XYZ-something to be true? This framing helps generate insights where there is a lack of information by tapping into your intuition of what’s feasible and realistic.

Two examples, let’s say you’re doing some financial modeling and want to ensure profitability.

  1. You don’t know anything about revenues (monetization strategy, target audience, etc.). But you know that the bare minimum unit costs are $100/product sold. Now ask, is it believable that revenue per sale would be >$100? Perhaps yes, if the product is a cool gadget and you’re selling to people with high income. But if you’re just making a new food item, the likelihood for profitability might be lower.
  2. Or, you don’t know anything about cost, but you know that the maximum willingness-to-pay from consumers is $20. Now ask, is it believable that unit costs would be <$20? Perhaps it would take 3 years to reach the scale at which such a low unit cost would be feasible, in which case that might invalidate the business itself if such a runway can’t be funded.

This blarticle was originally published on my Medium Blog and was written in the context of building a service that rents outdoors gear for camping, backpacking, snow sports, etc. Last Minute Gear (www.lastmingear.com) rents and delivers equipment up to 1 hour before a trip!

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