Redundant solutions are a waste of resources, time, and marketplace space. What do you have to gain by trying to do the same thing better than the next guy? The chances that you will make a competitive impression are few and far between. Why not try something different altogether? Identify a problem or need, list the solutions available now, and brainstorm opportunities divergent from (or completely counter-intuitive to) other trends. Sure, you may fail to solve the problem. But you may also outperform the next guy with your unique approach. You’ll never know unless you try.
Remember what Henry Ford said: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Embrace different.
Perhaps education could spend more time teaching students about what not to do. We should impart to students a fundamental understanding of what has been done already, and inspire them to approach things differently.
Through a culture of experimentation and differentiation, we will solve more problems faster and with more certainty.