The most standard text describes the inventing process as ‘solving a problem’ but what about products that have mass appeal but don’t really solve a problem? – They become ‘wants’ instead of needs. For example, a game or novelty item doesn’t really solve a problem but sometimes are big sellers. Do most inventors go around specifically looking for problems to solve?
Julian, Yes most inventors look for a problem to solve, but your right in that most needs are already met and many new mass market inventions address a want rather than a need. Louis Foreman points this out in many of his public speeches geared toward inventors so maybe he can chime in and better speak to this. Thanks for bringing this up as I know many inventors are fixated on definable problems.
Yes, I believe there are plenty of eager people out there that want to buy things that don’t “solve” problems. Like the 8 Ball and Twister… Silly Putty, Superballs, Slinky, Pacman, Pez dispensers, Bazooka Joe bubble gum …
Why I’m developing one right now… based on adopting an old product popular 70 years ago and adding a completely new ‘twist’ to it!