Did Steve Jobs never listen to customers?
It was apparently Henry Ford who said those famous words: “If I had asked the customers what they wanted, I would have had to invent a faster horse.”
There are obviously many inventions and innovations, which would never had been made if the creators had spend all their time in focus groups. Most disruptive innovation (if not all) is based on a perception of what customers may want. Maybe you cannot get the full picture by asking them, but you can certainly get a lot of insight by observing and listening to them.
This point of view is stressed by Steve Blank in his new book:
The urge to make disruptive innovation doesn’t mean that you should stop or refrain from observing, talking and listening to customers.
Steve Blank is presenting his rationale in this video:
If you cannot see the video window above click this link and select the video.