How to Identify New Opportunities the Robot Way

"See the need, fill the need" – this is a quote from the film Robots, which I recently watched with my children. Robots is a fun movie to watch, and Robin Williams stands out as a great voice in this animated feature.

In this film the main character, Rodney Copperbottom, is the child of a dishwasher. In order to help his dad, who comes home exhausted every night, Rodney builds a working prototype that will clean all the dishes. The machine was invented to give his dad more satisfaction and better results, meaning that dad and son would be able to spend more quality time together. Rodney saw a need, and looked for a way to solve the problem.

In the book "5 Patterns of an Extraordinary Careers" – a survey of over 2,000 successful executives – one of the keys for those that succeeded was that they overcame the “permission paradox”. I often hear people complain they can’t find a role or a way to solve a particular type of problem. In many cases, they wait for the solution to be presented to them. Yet some of the great stories of our time come from seeing a need, finding a way to solve the problem, and then figuring how to turn the experience into a new opportunity or business.

Think Google, think EBay, think iTunes, think Toyota Prius, think Home Depot, think Starbucks. These are world class companies — their founders saw a need and filled it. This leads to two questions:

1 How do you see it?

2. How do you fill it?

Both are key. Here’s where you come in. Please share with me some of your thoughts and comments on these questions – alan@CareerJoy.com – next week I will share some of your thoughts with the rest of the readers.