4 or 5 whys deep

The “Go Wide, Go Deep” technique you likely heard of from Troy Dean is a really interesting way to drill down on your clients desires and discover what they really need.

I guess my 3 year old has been listening to Troy when I’m not around, because she’s been asking me “why?” to everything too.

Even though this can be really frustrating at times, I like to play along and see how long I can keep answering the question.

Yesterday, unbeknownst to her, she showed me just how eye opening this technique can be.

We had finished running some errands and I told her we needed to get home.

“Why?” she asks.

“Because I need to get back to work” I say.


“Because I have a lot of things to get done today”. “Why?”

“Because I need to make money”. “Why?”

“So I can take time off and spend it with you”.

I was struck by how this 3-letter question made me realize I was hurrying to go away from her to work, but I work so I can spend more time with her — which I was already doing.

It’s really easy to get inside the hamster wheel and stay constantly busy without going anywhere — or lose track of what you’re doing all this for.

The Go Wide, Go Deep technique is great for client discovery meetings — but it’s not bad for self-reflection either.

It may be buying some new software, adding a new service, adding to your team, or putting in extra hours instead of being home with your family… Have you stopped to ask yourself why?

One answer isn’t sufficient — 4 or 5 whys deep is where the gold is.

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