Solutions in Search of Problems

We often demean "solutions in search of problems" and send people packing to better define what problem it is they are trying to solve. However, every solution, if it is user-driven can lead to the serving of new markets. See Clayton Christensen's The Innovator's Dilemma for several examples. For an excerpt, see here.

The history of independent inventors speaks a similar story:

The independents reserved their enthusiasm and primary creative thurst for the act of invention; they performed the entrepreneurial function of establishing companies because they wanted to bring their inventions into use. They had to establish companies because they found that firms busily presiding over well-established technologies were usually not interested in nurturing radically new technologies with which their employees had no experience and for the manufacture of which their machines and processes were not suited. The independent inventors also found that others did not nurture their inventions with the tender care and undivided attention they themselves lavished on their brainchildren.

Thomas P. Hughes, American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970
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