Manifest Curiosity Part XI: Problem Pizza

How pizza is perfect for solving problems

Matthew Murrie
3 min readMar 6, 2022


Several slices of pizza on a bright orange background
Photo by Tamas Pap on Unsplash

Feed your curiosity — or love — for pizza with this Curiosity-Based Thining process designed to help you to transform an initial idea into a well-supported statement or help you communicate the complex simply. I originally created Problem Pizza as a way to teach paragraph and essay structure to university students but have since adapted it to help everyone from entrepreneurs and executives to aspiring writers. Learn how to solve any problem by turning it into a piece of pizza in the eleventh part of a series providing updates to the Manifest Curiosity that details the whats, whos, hows, whens, and whys of Curiosity-Based Thinking.

Problem Pizza

Whether you are solving a problem your business faces, taking action to solve a global problem, or a blank screen you need to turn into an essay is your problem, the Curiosity Based Learning process, Problem Pizza turns a tasty food into a useful tool in providing structure, organization, process, and easy to apply actions the problem on your plate.

Topic (crust):

The first step is to consider the characteristics (e.g. it surrounds the pizza, is underneath the pizza and holds it up, is a part of every bite: it’s everywhere) of pizza crust and explain the “topic” of a piece of writing is similar: it’s what it’s all about; the topic can be found in every paragraph, sentence, and sometimes directly in the title.

Thesis (sauce):

Next comes the sauce, arguably where the bulk of a pizza’s flavor comes from. It’s not quite everywhere like the topic, but it has a sizable spread over the pizza. This is like the thesis of a paper. A good thesis makes a comment on a topic (see, that topic is EVERYWHERE — even in the thesis!) and is then proven throughout the rest of the paper, thereby flavoring the feel, format, and taste it leaves the reader throughout.

Major Details (cheese):

On top of that sauce is sprinkled the cheese, similar to how a good writer will sprinkle details to help prove or accent the flavor of the thesis. Major Details are used to organize supporting paragraphs. They are more general than minor…



Matthew Murrie

Author of The Book of What If…?, Founder of What If Curiosity, and Creator of Curiosity-Based Thinking and Curiosity-Based Learning, turning ideas into actions.