How did customers survive all these years without this?

Wikipedia editors experience something
called a solution looking for a problem. 

According to various contributors, this phenomenon occurs when an inexperienced
writer submits a proposal that doesn’t address any issue in particular. Even if
that person’s writingisstylistically accurate, it’s only proposed for the sake of change and doesn’t offer
any practical advantages. 

And so, that article gets deleted. Nothing personal,
it’s just business. 

It’s an efficient, practical and democratic system for
editing ideas. One that investors could learn a lot from. After all, we live in
a world where some entrepreneur farts an idea, and he instantly gets five
million dollars. 

Of course, nothing of value is created, but piles of money are
made anyway. And within eighteen months, that product is never heard from

Because it was merely a solution looking for a problem. 

When I invent
new products for my innovation gameshow Steal Scott’s Ideas,
I always look for problems that satisfy several criteria.

They must be real,
expensive, urgent and pervasive. 

Real, meaning not just some bullshit problem
that only exists inside my myopic little head.

Expensive, meaning something
that’s costing people and organizations a statistically significant amount of
time, money and resources. 

Urgent, meaning our failure to solve this problem
would have immediate consequences. 

Pervasive, meaning there is a substantial
tribe of people who suffer from this problem and are disconnected from each
other as a result. 

Without such constraints, solutions are likely to cause more
problems than they solve. 

Next time you sit down to solve the world’s
problems, ask yourself this. 

How did our potential customers survive all these
years without this product? 

Because if your new ideas requires developmental
costs without any tangible benefit, it’s not an innovation, it’s a solution
looking for a problem.


What hammer are you using to turn everything you see into a nail?
* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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