“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” – Henry Ford
With respect to Mr. Ford, I don’t think he asked the right question.
How can you properly evolve your company and innovate with value if you have no idea what your customers (and those you want to be a customer) need?
I can hear you now, “Steve Jobs” did not care what the market wanted he figured out what they needed and gave it to them. Really? I do not think so.
What he did, and every great and innovative company does, is to listen to what customers say they want and need. But, and here is the big difference, they do not just blindly give them that. They seek to understand the bigger opportunity that is at the root of all of that feedback.
They solve the problem in a totally new way while their competitors are busy delivering more horses.
Do not think that Mr. Ford and Mr. Jobs did not know what the market wanted and needed. They just delivered something that answered it in a new and more exciting way.