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Chapter 6. Defining a Patent: The Proble... > The Skill of Problem Identification

The Skill of Problem Identification

Perhaps the most intuitive skill we have is one that has to be conditioned and refined by almost every individual during his or her life. That is the skill of being able to see a problem and to see it clearly enough as to identify its boundaries. Seek to understand what is related to this problem, extensions of the problem, and perhaps extensions not part of the problem. Make sure you know when you are looking at. Is it a separate problem in itself?

Problem identification is often most easy to perform when you are frustrated. Anyone who becomes part of a frustrating situation is actually facing an opportunity to solve a problem. While driving, walking, working, or playing—we all experience times that we see something and say to ourselves, “I could have thought up a much better solution to this . . . ” Well, at that moment, think about what you are seeing, what you are experiencing, and record mentally what you would do to make it better. Immediately ask yourself, “Do you suppose anyone has ever thought of my idea before?” And if not, why not?


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