Naming things is liberating.

It provides a shared language to articulate the nuances and specificities of an abstract concept. For instance, "freaking firsts," "delta 4," "radical candor.” etc.

Recently, I experienced a mini liberation after naming something I've been going through for decades. I'm calling it Crib Driven Problem Solving (CDPS) 🥹.

People who work closely with me know that I tend to crib a lot, especially when product experiences are subpar. I believe it's a designer's birthright to complain about experiences that aren't up to mark. Cribbing helps articulate specific areas that aren't helping the end-user.

A small group of cribbers move to the second step of problem-solving after they're done cribbing. They solve the problem their way with what they can, with what they have. They genuinely try their best to do something about the problem.

Over the past decade and a half, I've built numerous products, tools, courses, and communities powered by crib-driven problem-solving.

The seven stages of crib-driven problem-solving are as follows:

  1. The designer experiences physical pain in their hearts and heads with the suboptimal experiences around.
  2. The designer gains the courage to voice out the pain and complains a lot about the experiences, either with their inner circle or via a post on social media.
  3. The designer accepts the subpar experience and starts breaking down the problem statement into smaller modules.
  4. The designer then builds experience maps, algorithms, or nocode solutions for the issues. If they cannot build, they propose solutions to those who are in authority.
  5. The designer ships the experience and checks whether the pain is alleviated for at least a few people.
  6. The designer feels good about the problem-solving and doesn't scale further or turn it into a business.
  7. The designer finds the next set of problems to solve.

That's the story of my life. I experience physical pain when some experiences are subpar.

For example: Xperian is my way of cribbing about broken design education system. Conduce is my way of cribbing about broken productivity system. Mentor circles is my way of cribbing about broken mentorships. It built me as a better problem solver.

When Utkarsh mentioned about his "anger-driven development," it inspired me to name mine as “crib-driven problem-solving”.

I found my tribe finally😆

I use to feel bad to crib. Cribbing has a negative connotation attached to it. I blamed it on my occupation hazard. This week onwards I am cribbed unapologetically.

🥂 to cribbed!

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