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Think Horses, not Zebras

There is a popular quote in medical circles:

When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras. — Dr. Theodore Woodward

“Zebra” is the American medical slang for arriving at a surprising, often exotic, medical diagnosis when a more commonplace explanation is more likely.1 What does this have to do with product development? Like the medical profession, we often diagnose problems — we call it debugging. Below are three recent cases where I would have been helped by applying this approach a little more rigorously.

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