Henry Ford once remarked that he didn’t do market research because if he asked people want they wanted they would have said a faster horse! He trusted his instinct as to what the customer would want even if they themselves could not articulate it today. He built it and they came. (Though he did famously get it wrong later on: Remember his famous quote: “The customer can have any color they want as long as it’s black” when GM began offering color choices and set Ford back on his heels? Nobody’s perfect! )
Technology writer Robert X. Cringely (former columnist for PC World and PBS Technology show host) thinks we are now fully in a world driven by supplying what the customer may want …once they see it. Spend it a minute with Cringely’s brief musing that we now live in the Age of Supply, Not Demand and how Apple and others are stimulating demand by “appealing not to what customers said they wanted but to what customers INNATELY need,” but customers cannot identify today.