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Let me explain this with an example. An inventor faces a problem, he decides to develop a solution for it. Initially, he is the main target audience for his invention.

I was wondering if there was an single word to describe this, a word that would mean "to solve your own problem" as a verb or "as a solution to his own problem".

I was thinking at a compound word with the prefix auto perhaps? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/auto-

EDIT: Example usage: "The developer of the app said it started out as an (...) application (to solve his own problem). Now his company succeeds to target a more broad target audience." Is there one word that can replace the text in brackets?

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I'm having trouble understanding how you want to use this word. Can you include in your question an example sentence with a blank for where you want the word to go? That might help inspire possibilities. –  Ben Lee May 24 '13 at 18:31
    
I just made an edit adding an example sentence. –  Flrvt May 26 '13 at 14:26
    
Hmm, in your particular example sentence, I'd just go with the word "personal". I'm not posting this is an answer because it doesn't actually answer your full question, but I think the word fits here because the "to solve his own problem" would be implied in this context. If I think of a word that fits and also answers your fuller question I'll post it. –  Ben Lee May 27 '13 at 0:11
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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I have scoured through everything I could find, and I am starting to think that such a word simply does not exist.

The words with "self" in it seem to the only solution.

I could see a few ways to phrase it well in that format though.

"The developer said he invented the app to address his own needs. Now his company succeeded and targets a more broad target audience."

I know it's not an answer to your question, but emphasizing the fact that the developer addressed his own needs also serves the same purpose.

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Yes. I agree with you. The way you phrase it is also a good solution and might actually be more clear than using a complicated word or compound to say the same. Thanks. –  Flrvt May 30 '13 at 10:18
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"Self-help" comes to mind. For medical issues, "self-diagnosed" and "self-medicated" are used.

EDIT - I removed my bone-headed comment about how "auto-" might not be a good prefix after @Jerry reminded me of autobiographies. I stand by my other 2 suggestions though!

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autobiography comes to mind :) –  Jerry May 23 '13 at 17:49
    
@Jerry, Yeah, I'm sure those don't write themselves. "Autoerotic" is another one. Darn! :-) –  Kristina Lopez May 23 '13 at 17:53
    
I would say that the phrases "self-help", "self-diagnosed" and "self-medicated" apply more to problems of a personal nature rather than an inventor as in the question. –  Sam May 23 '13 at 22:04
    
@Sam, just thinking outside the box here. "Self-help" does not need to be solely for personal problems and you don't know from the OP's context whether the problem that requires an "invention" is of a personal nature or not. Did he get "help"? Yes. Did he provide the "help" him"self"? Yes. There ya go! :-) –  Kristina Lopez May 23 '13 at 22:07
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Point taken - I guess I was taking just the common meanings of both self-help and inventor. Thinking outside the box is always welcome! :) –  Sam May 23 '13 at 22:11
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I would go for "self-appointed" - having assumed a position or role without the endorsement of others.

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