In praise of the obvious

Recently, I saw a post about troubleshooting a misbehaving piece of measuring equipment.  Many tests and steps had been taken to try and work out what was wrong with the equipment, and in the end it turned out the battery was almost dead. Replacing the battery restored full functionality.

This seems, in hindsight, to be a rather obvious thing to try – but the expectation was, if it turns on, the battery is probably fine… there was a level of battery life between “working fine” and “working at all” that resulted in this particular problem.

OK, so far so good.  The thing is, the person posting confessed embarrassment at the obviousness of the problem…


Never be embarrassed about successfully solving a problem.  Blind spots are as much a problem in problem solving as any other factor. Embrace the obvious.

There is a reason “Is it plugged in?” is such a cliche…