Hammer Driven Approach?
In a post What You Known Matters More Than What You do, the author describes a star researcher who can publish four or five important results each year. The secret appears to be that he tends to begin with techniques, not problems. He first masters a technique that seems promising, and then uses this new technique to seek out problems that were once hard but now yield easily. However, this “hammer-driven” approach seems a little bit utilitarian, and would not give rise to REAL novel research.
UPDATE, 2016-June-15. It turns out that I choose an