"In every scientific venture the thing that comes first is Vision. That is to say, before embarking upon analytic work of any kind we must first single out the set of phenomena we wish to investigate, and acquire 'intuitively' a preliminary notion of how they hang together or, in other words, of what appear from our standpoint to be their fundamental properties. This should be obvious. If it is not, this is only owing to the fact that in practice we mostly do not start from a vision of our own but from the work of our predecessors or from ideas that float in the public mind"
This is why you need to read newspapers and blogs and not academic journals when in need of ideas for research.
ht: Wyplosz' office door!
This extract is from Schumpeter's History of Economic Analysis (1954)