I truly think this is good advice. For too long I worked in an environment where that “million dollar idea” was just a brain spark away and it was a constant crusade that turned out to be just draining. Innovation does happen all around us, but the innovation is born out of actual problem solving. Intentional or not, when a problem is truly solved, great things happen. There’s variance to it though. More often than not problems can be solved in a multitude of ways.
Take for example to-do applications. We were all saying there were too many of those things five years ago. First there was the epic battle between OmniFocus and Things. Then everyone started taking out all the features because they needed to-do’s to manage their to-do app. Piles upon piles of ‘simple’ task management apps came out, even Apple built one. Everyone said they were sick of it. Yet Clear came out and blew everyone’s mind. Then Cheddar came out and everyone went nuts.
All of these to-do apps when everyone said they’d had enough. There’s innovation there though. The minds behind these iterations wanted something just a little bit different, they wanted it their way, and there are other people out there who prefer that way too.
Just because something’s been done once doesn’t mean it can’t be done better. Way better. If that were the case we’d all still be driving Model T’s and using abacuses to somehow Tweet. Who cares if you think your idea sucks, go build it anyway.