A Russian chemist, Dimitri Mendeleev, invented the first periodic table of elements. Prior to that, scientists had identified a few elements but the scientific world lacked a consistent framework to organize these elements. Dimitri built upon existing work of these scientists and invented the first periodic table based on a set of design principles. What fascinates me more about his design is that he left a couple of rows empty because he predicted that new elements would be discovered soon. Not only he designed the first periodic table to create a foundation for how elements can be organized but he anticipated what might happen in future and included that consideration in his design.
It is unfortunate that a lot of us are trained to chase a perfect answer as opposed to designing something that is less than perfect, useful, and inspirational to future generations to build on it. We look at technology in a small snapshot and think what it can do for me and others now. We don’t think of technology disruption as a continuum to solve a series of problems. Internet started that way and the first set of start-ups failed because they defined the problem too narrowly. The companies that succeeded such as Google, Amazon, eBay etc. saw Internet as a long term trend and didn’t think of it in a small snapshot. Cloud and Big Data are the same. Everyday I see problems being narrowly defined as if this is just a fad and companies want to capitalize on it before it disappears.
Build that first element table and give others an imagination to extend it. As an entrepreneur you were not the first and you are not going to be the last trying to solve this problem.