In much of the literature about creativity, problem finding and problem solving is a main focus. According to that, to be creative you must seek out problems and solve them in unique ways. I see things a little differently. I believe that creative people are opportunistic. Instead of solving problems, they find opportunities. The difference is subtle, but meaningful. Problems are things that exist. Opportunities are things you create.
For instance, when Google was founded, the internet was just fine. There wasn’t a real problem with search engines; Yahoo was awesome. But the founders of Google saw an opportunity for a better means of searching the web. In their vision of what could be, they created a whole new domain that continues to increase in importance every day.
So instead of finding problem, find opportunities. The best thing about opportunities is there is an endless stream of them. One way to find them is by looking at current innovations. Each time an innovation takes place. There exists a gap between what already exists and the new innovation. Take into concideration all the gadgets made just because the iPhone was invented. The gap is where opportunity lies. Lead User Innovation is one method of doing finding these gaps. Curt Morgan of Brain Farm became a lead user when he had to turn from a snowboarder to a videographer after breaking his back a few times. See where he is now.