The solution must be co-evolved with the problem. (Or more precisely, with our understanding of the problem.)
If you are not making progress on a solution, look for new problems.
Complicated problems call for complicated solutions. Complicated solutions do not generalize and rarely scale. Ergo, prefer working on simple, abstract problems. Specifically: on the simpler, more abstract version of your problem.
If there is no solution, you have a metaproblem.
You can follow @fchollet.
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