Can anybody explain it for me, please? I know what "in need of" means, but I am confused with the whole phrase. http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/in-need-of-something

"Silicon Valley is criticized for creating solutions in need of problems, showering consumers with referral codes and discounts to gain traction. Entrepreneurs don’t have that luxury in secondary and tertiary cities, where typical consumers have different mindsets and needs from their coastal, urban counterparts. For the “rest of America,” immediate practicality matters just as much as long-term vision."

Source: https://venturebeat.com/2017/05/22/the-trick-to-a-successful-company-start-it-outside-silicon-valley/?google_editors_picks=true

1 Answer 1


The definition of solution in this context is an instance or method of solving a problem (Definition 3 here http://www.dictionary.com/browse/solution).

Usually, therefore, a problem comes first, then a solution for that problem is found afterwards. However, if you say that someone has "solutions in need of problems", you are saying that they have come up with a "solution" to a problem that doesn't exist. In your context it is saying that a product does something that is not (at least immediately) useful; that the "problem" it purports to "solve" is in fact not a problem at all.


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