When you are building a system, you first do an overview of prior work. Academics do this a lot in a formal sense, to motivate their system by identifying gaps.
Augmenting human intellect was written 6 years before the mother of all demos!
via Will Crichton, a classic example of Good overview works that inspire action is “A Berkeley view of X”:
where berkeley is like "we think X is important" (where X = the cloud or whatever) and then executes a 5 year plan to do lots of X research