By: Magnus Fasth
February 11 2016

Configuration and Einstein? Do they have anything in common?

So, you’ve solved the riddle? Maybe not that difficult, but to be honest it’s not an easy task even if you know how it’s done.
But does the riddle really describe the C in CPQ? I would say both Yes and No.
First, from a strict logical perspective the Einstein’s riddle is not really a representative problem. But from a business point of view it’s another story.

The Einstein’s riddle only has one solution. These kinds of problems normally don’t need a configurator. Sure one can use the configurator to solve the problem faster, but once it’s solved you only need to remember the answers.
From a business perspective this is quite descriptive to the way complex problems are often solved - by going back to old solutions instead of tailoring a new solution for the specific customer need. This is the way many CPQ-users-to-be currently are solving their CPQ problems. So let this be the first reason why the riddle actually describes reality.

The second reason why this is actually a configuration problem is the way that the rules are described. It’s not a straight flow for A to Z. One actually needs to be somewhat iterative in order to solve a problem like this.
Its two steps forward and then one step back. If you know how to dance it’s not a hassle but if you don’t it’s very difficult to appreciate the beat.

The third reason this is a configuration problem is because it’s very sensitive to change. Say that we increase the number of car brands, the number of energy sources and number of colors. That would give us quite a few different alternatives to choose from which makes the solution almost impossible to find with the current set of rules.
This is what is currently happening at CPQ-users-to-be; a constant update of the product portfolio. This change will turn a solvable problem into an unsolvable riddle. A riddle that only 2 % of the sales reps will be able to figure out.

That’s my main three reasons why the Einstein’s riddle is about the C in CPQ.

And we will skip the fact that it’s a good way for us to qualify a CPQ-user-to-be’s logic skill. That’s just a bonus.


Learn more: 

Blog post: Are you considering an investment in configuration software?

Webinar: Why is sales configuration a challenge?

Blog post: It’s time to stop thinking about product complexity as a problem


Related Blogs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>