When I am in confusion, I tend to find a solution to it by myself and it works too. Later, when I google it, I realize that a few others have found similar solutions too. So, basically I was not reinventing the wheel, but got a solution that is common, but mostly by intuition. It can be adding a certain ingredient while cooking though I am not really aware that it could help, or probably adjusting the correct light while taking a photo.

Is there any word or phrase for this? Does common sense fit in here?

  • No particular word or phrase; it's a common experience in learning anything -- mostly learning is making mistakes, but when you figure out the right answer by yourself it shows you actually have learned enough to cope. Later, when you find out it's already on Wikipedia, it's just another lesson that, if you can figure it out, so can anybody else, because you're just as smart as anybody else, but no smarter. Aug 16, 2017 at 13:23
  • 2
    You can say "rediscovered" or "independently discovered", or in the reflexive, as is typical in Academia: "this solution was anticipated by...".
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 16, 2017 at 13:26
  • This is not a word for the action but what you are doing is an example of "great minds thinking alike". When you do this you are confirming that the solution is, if not perfect, at least reasonable since you and the other people have arrived at the same solution independently.
    – BoldBen
    Aug 8, 2018 at 18:04

1 Answer 1


That is, in fact, reinventing the wheel

To reinvent the wheel is to duplicate a basic method that has already previously been created or optimized by others.


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