Musings : The Conundrum of Solving Problems

“It’s elementary, my dear Watson! Or, is it (anymore)?”, Sherlock Homes

I haven’t read much of Sherlock Holmes. Of course, I’d like to. Though, I have seen the latest movies where Robert Downey Jr. has done a marvelous job. The fan inside me certainly woke up and took notice of certain mannerisms attributed to the Holmes’ character.

Coming straight to the point now, to the headline/phrase, which is why I am writing this. This phrase has proved itself numerous times (i.e., QED-ed) in several different contexts I have found myself observing, mostly during problem-solving analyses. I am sure this has been the case with most of you reading this – How often do people lose hold of elementary stuff! –  At work or in personal life, making decisions on worthless or utmost important objective question-marks or complex/subjective problems they face. Just look around and see what’s happened in only the last 3 months in your own work-life/personal-life setting (Not in/about your own life; Of others you are connected with – it is just a bit easier then.). You’ll perhaps need a counter. I know I would. ( PS: Don’t get into politics, otherwise “To infinity and beyond!”. There’s no need to count.)

How often do you feel that people don’t sit down or stop for a moment to actually think about a problem, its root-causes (fish-bone anyone?), or just the priority/severity (action-priority matrix, anyone?). If you just make a wild guess why they do not have time to think (time-management, anyone?), you might just be surprised. “They just don’t!” will also feature in the top root-causes, for sure, at least in today’s age. That’s the most frightening/eye-opening one.

What is/are, actually, the real problem(s) then?  Is it too much work? Too much stress? Too many distractions? Too many threads? Too much pseudo-social life (Yes, here you can add FB, WA etc.)? Too much of day-to-day randomly going about the wild-goose chases, i.e. everything is important, everyone is important, everything takes (the same) priority, everything is work, every possibility has to be explored etc., everything has to be perfect, everyone’s impression about my work/life (yes, here you can add “my image”) is important?

PS: Of course, “Couldn’t care less!” (the don’t-care bit is set) doesn’t count for anything.

Probably, someone else, up there, is one of the root-causes then!

What do you think? Your comments are welcome.

 

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. To know more about our company, please click on Mindfire Solutions. 

 

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Online Marketplace for Tutors

Mike was famous for his out-of-the-box career choices, something that earned him the tag of a rebel among his friends. So, it was not a surprise when, in spite to scoring the highest in subjects like economics and algebra, he choose to drop out, and pursue music as a career. His parents were as much disappointed as they were concerned about his future.

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The Travails

Having set out to carve a career in the field of his choice, Mike quickly realized that making a living out of his passion would not be an easy job. He could bag a few gigs and call-shows to begin with using his contacts, but that was surely not enough to sustain a reasonable lifestyle. To add up to his net income, he started offering music lessons, mainly vocal and classical guitar classes to teenagers. That too did not assure a steady inflow of cash. Firstly, because the number of students turned out to be only a few. And secondly, because teenagers were fickle minded, they would pick up the guitar one day and get bored with it right after a week and drop out. Mike started wondering how far could he carry on like this.

One day, his best friend from school, Paula dropped in for a surprise visit. At that time, Mike was giving guitar lessons to his students, a group of three boys. They were just about to leave when Paula rung the bell.

Hey, what’s up”? Paula’s enthusiasm was met with a feeble smile on Mike’s face. “Hey. Wow! Come in!”

What’s wrong with you?” Paula was anxious, seeing that the signs of struggle were everywhere in his rented place, now more conspicuous than ever.

“Nothing, it’s just been a little tough these days. That’s it” Mike tried but couldn’t hide the tone of despair.

Care to explain?” Paula tried to be of help.

“Actually, I’m getting tired of this now. My students, all three of them, are going to withdraw by this month-end. In every two months, I’m giving lessons to a completely new set of people. They ‘re just coming in and going by, frustrating me at its worst”, Mike never sounded this helpless as far as Paula could remember.

Listen”, Paula said “I have good news. There’s a cousin of mine, she wants to take vocal classes, and she has heard about you. But, the only catch is that her place is at Hancock, nearly two hour’s journey from here. Would you be able to take this up?

“I’m afraid I can’t. That will be too much of traveling. I can refer my friends who live near Hancock, they can help her out”.

Wow, you have musician friends there as well?” Paula didn’t expect that.

“Ah, my network is quite large you see. I have my folks everywhere, just like me”, Mike sighed, “struggling and trying to make both ends meet. And for us artists, tuition is one of the few sources of regular income that we have”.

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The Idea

“Wait a second! Why not take this entire thing up to another level?”, Paula quipped. She was always the ingenious one in their group. “What do you mean?” remarked Mike.

Simple. You have your fellow mates, a network of artists in South California who provide tuitions and do it seriously. I know a lot of people who offer subject-specific classes. Even I would love to give French lessons to young learners. So, what we all need, is students who are serious about learning what they desire to. On the other hand, there are folks like my cousin, and I believe a lot of others too, who need dedicated teachers

“Yeah, so what’ll we do? Organise a meet-and-greet?” Mike quipped.

Yes, but in a way that makes it fruitful for all”, Paula didn’t care for the tinge of sarcasm in his voice, “Not face-to-face, but in cyberspace

“Woah, that escalated quickly! Now, who will take up the tech bits? That’s not my cup of tea, and you’re no better”

Listen, I’m serious. I’ll set up an appointment with a tech solution provider that my brother recently worked with for a venture of his own. They can help us out to get things off the ground

“Hey, are you serious?”

“Very much I am! Wait for my call, once they confirm, I’ll tell you when and where to drop by”

Paula left that day, keeping her promise. After a week, they were at the office of that tech company. They discussed the proposition with the representative, who created the blueprint of an online portal where students could reach out to the best teachers/mentors in areas of academics, language and of course, music. Both the parties could set their priorities straight, with respect to the location, the level of expertise, and the price point. They could also come to mutual terms, regarding the time and place of the classes, in the portal itself.

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Interested to get a more detailed account of the solution, Download the Case Study;
No Email Ids/Contact Numbers needed.

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The Solution

“Also, if you ask me, there’s another excellent addition that has a lot of potential,” Emily from the Tech company was keen to help. You could also offer online tutoring, for cases where taking physical classes is not possible. That way, you’re spreading the geographical boundaries of your business ”

In that case, Mike said “We’ll also have to think of something through which we can transfer large audio/video files because the instructor has to send samples, notations etc. The student should also be able to bounce off similar stuff with the teacher.”

“Not an issue, we’ll be in talks with our development team to streamline the portal with fast file uploading system”, Emily assured him, “This will be one of its kind. What have you thought of naming the portal?”

“Yikes! We haven’t thought of any”, Paula admitted.

“Let’s call it an online marketplace for tutors, as for the type. You can name it anything you want, after all, it’s your idea”, Emily smiled.

The idea was executed with flying colors, and today, Mike has stopped spending sleepless nights overpaying his next month’s bills. The portal, has enabled him to have a steady source of income courtesy his pool of geographically dispersed and enthusiastic students who share his passion towards music. Besides, it has also helped him garner a reputation for himself in his field of work.

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Talk to Mindfire Solutions, and we’ll help you push your idea to the real world!

 

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Borrow from Flashapply.com what you can afford to pay: Check your current debt-to-income ratio and take a loan accordingly. Ideally, the total EMIs of your debts shouldn’t be more than 40 percent of your income.

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