William Liao

March 11, 2021

The problem with solving problems

At first, “we solved this problem” feels good. It represents a hard-earned conclusion to a lot of effort. It gives us permission to unload our shoulders after a long journey.

The first time it seems harmless.

However, we are in peril every time afterwords when we say “we’ve already solved that”. Solved says we’ve done the very best we can. Already means it’s done - it’s in the rear view mirror.

We might as well say: dear curious and creative minds, visitation is over. Look and think elsewhere.

This would be fine if most of the problems we believe to be solved were actually solved.

Horses didn’t solve transportation.

Carriages didn’t either.

Rubber wheels and combustion engines didn’t either.

Electric cars didn't either.

Instead, they made progress. They were iterations towards a better way all while acknowledging that we’re nowhere near the best way.

“Solved” closes the door. “Progress” potentiates the very best future we deserve.