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Stick Figures

Recently, I started reading 'The Back of the Napkin' by Dan Roam. First of all, it looks like a children's book (my uncle thought it was my 8-year-old cousin's book until he saw me reading it). But most importantly it gave me the joys of being a child again - while making real progress with my projects.

The book is about how to use pictures to solve simple and complex problems. I was intrigued, but daunted since I am a terrible artist. But once I was elbows deep in the book, I realized that drawing skills didn't matter at all. What mattered was clarity of thought and simplicity.

I spent the rest of day drawing stick figures for my projects. I drew customer experience workflows, target audience caricatures, industry analysis diagrams, and Venn diagrams.

Doing this not only gave me a break from staring at my computer all day but also gave me meaningful insight into my ideas and projects. It felt like I was peeling back a layer to gain a deeper understanding of the industry through my stick figure drawings.

My biggest takeaway was the SQVID framework:

  • Simple v Elaborate
  • Quality v Quantity
  • Vision v Execution
  • Individual Attributes v Comparison
  • Delta (change) v Status Quo
This framework is incredibly valuable for clarity of thought and exploration. It helps you redefine your focus for a variety of stakeholders - you, your team, your investors, your audience, and our competitors.

For all my readers, I would definitely recommend spending a day drawing stick figures about your business, project, or idea and see how fun and rewarding it is. I am definitely incorporating the SQVID into my analytical toolkit!


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