I had a chance to sit down with Chris Baudry of Pacific Whistle last week and we got to talking about the Inventor’s mind. Two basic directions emerged in our discussion on the implementation of new ideas: (1) solutions in search of a problem, and (2) problems in search of solutions.
What I mean by “solutions in search of a problem” is that the creative mind of the inventor spends time tinkering and playing with different ideas/components until something unique occurs, serendipitous exploration, if you will. Now that the inventor has this new thing, they are off in search of where it should be and why we need it. There is a very high probability of failure here, as it will most likely lead to a search for artificial demand.
The other approach is seeing a demonstrable problem that has yet to be solved, and then coming up with a solution to that problem. When it comes to this new Web 2.0 thing the next person insists on showing you, is it a solution looking for a problem, or a problem solved?
According to Adage (registration required), US workers will waste the equivalent of 551,000 years reading blogs this year. I imagine most of that time will be wading the the growing spam of computer-generated blogs or “splogs” that have been built to monetize links or change search engine rank. News.com reports today that a massive spamalanche occurred over the weekend when a creative hacker stuffed RSS readers with thousands of useless blogs by leveraging Blogger’s open API.
The Yahoo Videoblogging Group has been buzzing with the discussion about the new distribution potential of independent works through iTunes now that iPod plays video. In addition to the iPod discussions, there are many technical threads, help and howto links, and a great sense of community developing. The group has nearly 1500 members now, and seems to be at the center of the media revolution. If you are interested in independent media and its creation, definately drop on by.