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Book Review & Discussion : Problem Solving 101

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A Simple Book for Smart People

About this Event

In this event, you’ll learn

How to find the right categories for a problem like bad grades

What a school band can do to get to the root of their small audiences problem

Which approach works best in sorting and prioritizing solutions

How you can use Problem Solving 101 to achieve even your biggest dreams

About the Author

Ken Watanabe grew up bilingual in Japan and studied in the United States at Yale and Harvard Business School. He was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company for six years. He is now the founder and CEO of his own education, entertainment, and media company, Delta Studio.

About the book

Problem Solving 101 was written as a guide to teach Japanese schoolchildren critical thinking skills. After that it quickly gained popularity among adults. In the book Watanabe uses simple and funny examples to learn the reader how to approach a problem. He uses three cases to educate the reader:

A band called The Mushroom Lovers don’t seem to gain a larger audience. How will they solve this?

John the Octopus wants to become a famous CG animator and needs to save money for a computer.

Kiwi is a soccer talent who wants to become a star. Which soccer school should she choose?

While the last two examples are great to read and learn problem solving, it’s mainly the first case I want to write about. In the field of interaction design there are often situations where you have to make decisions. Problems arise where you, as a designer, have to decide how to approach it in order to solve it. The case of The Mushroom Lovers provides some interesting examples in how you should approach this.

Without describing the entire case (and thus copying the book) I want to show you some of the examples in the book:

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