Copy and Paste

A wise professor once told me that one of the most valuable lessons a programmer can learn is to write reusable code.  It was an invitation to deconstruct a problem into its fundamental components which can often be used to solve whole categories of problems.  The same is true for problem solving in general.

Harvard University has published over 10,000 case studies for the Business School.  There certainly aren’t 10,000 unique problems that require a total reinvention of business to solve.  In fact, most problems have already been solved if you can see through the smoke and identify the heart of the problem.  The solution for drying corn seed, for example, might be found in the orange juice concentration industry.  The real issue isn’t about corn or orange juice, it’s about removing moisture.

So don’t hold your breath to find a situation identical yours.  Do, however, make the effort to identify the real problem.  The solution is out there somewhere.  Find it.


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