Why do solutions cluster around a handful of problem areas?

Education is a popular problem-area for start-up founders these days. I see friends build companies that assist you in learning a language; help you with your dyslexia or allow you to train for your final exams online. Is the problematic state of education today the explanation for the surge in ideas? I don’t think so. I think education is a popular area for start-ups now because types of solutions are becoming possible that can address the problems in education. It is not a bigger problem that leads to new ideas; it is a more appropriate set of solution building blocks.

I believe education is popular today because of the adjacent possibilities. A jump in computer penetration in classrooms; the possibility to stream videos from one brilliant teacher to every schoolgirl with access to internet; and advances in video games and visualization have enabled solutions for problems that existed for years or decennia.

To come up with brilliant solutions, you don’t dream up future scenarios out of thin air – you use building blocks that are (becoming) available.