I see what you’re trying to say, but I think the example you give belies the point. Einstein always started with a problem first (e.g. what would it be like to ride on a beam of light). Obviously, that takes some imagination, but imagination without a problem rarely amounts to much.

For my book, Mapping Innovation, I spoke to dozens of innovators, including one that won the Nobel prize last week, and in every case they were driven by a specific problem to solve. Once they identified the problem, ideas for how to solve it would come.

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Bestselling Author of Cascades and Mapping Innovation, @HBR Contributor, - Learn more at www.GregSatell.com — note: I use Amazon Affiliate links for books.

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