Observing and recreating systems is fun.
I enjoy trying to figure out how things work and why they were built in the first place. A basic understanding helps me piece things together to figure out where things are headed. Albeit, not always correct as I’m prone to misjudgment.
As I was on the train today, commuting back from the city, I thought about a series of questions:
- Who laid the tracks?
- Who maintains the tracks?
- How can I trust the bridge I’m about to go on is being checked and repaired consistently?
- Who cleans the trains every day?
- How much effort does it take to become a ticket checker?
- Who’s ‘driving’ the train? Can I trust them?
- Who designs schedules for trains and are they optimized?
- Why does a train from Newark airport to NY Penn Station cost the same as from MetroPark to NY Penn even though the distance is much less?
- Have train speeds increased in the past 20 years? Why or why not?
- What are all the ways I can avoid paying the fare?
Underlying each of the above questions is a job-to-be-done or a business that’s responsible for optimally delivering a product or service.
The problem-solving journey:
- Realizing the problems
- Creating incentives to solve them
- Searching for elegant solutions
In case you were wondering, this is what I’m thinking about while I’m on the train. Constantly questioning, searching online, and running thought experiments.