Solving A+ Problems

Most people solve B+ problems instead of A+ problems. A+ problems are high-impact problems for your company but they’re difficult—you don’t wake up in the morning with a solution to them, so you tend to procrastinate… If you have a company that’s always solving B+ problems, you’ll grow and add value, but you’ll never create the breakthrough idea because no one is spending 100% of their time banging their head against the wall every day until they solve it. - Keith Rabois

In Keith Rabois’ lecture, How to Operate, he shares a management lesson he learned from Peter Thiel during his time at PayPal. He talks about A+ and B+ problems and how most people focus on B+ problems because they’re easier to solve. A+ problems have a higher impact but the solution isn’t straightforward.

In my own life, I notice that I have a tendency to focus on B+ problems even though I know what the A+ problems are. For example, for the Olive Tree Writing Club, our A+ problem is social media growth. I knew that, but subconsciously, I avoided it because I wasn’t comfortable with social media. It wasn’t until a few people pointed it out that this was our A+ problem that I realized this should be a focus.

October 16, 2023

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