this is just Phase Two of Agile Methodology.
in Phase One, a load of Techies redefined Product Development to be based around "Techies identifying small nuggets of probably-relevant-work, coding them, putting them in front of people and saying "er well?", and so on round the loop, till someone says "we need to ship, you idiots!"
this is now Phase Two, where the techies crowdsource a starting point, since their previous starting points were so hopelessly far away from anything normal people might want.
imagine if (Phase One) bricklayers had defined the process of making large, complex buildings as "we'll knock up some brick-based structures and then see what people think". And then (Phase Two) they said "hm that didn't go too well, let's ask people what they want first, and then try to build that".
Meantime, a bunch of architects are sat there saying "er, hi guys, we can design something wonderful that will work, hello, that's what we do, we're trained an' all, we understand how to do that - hello?"
Techies are the bricklayers of the technology world. But there are human-savvy designers here too.
In Phase Three, we will hopefully go back to the idea of letting the designers (the architects) (a) design it, and (b) manage it.
I know you techies don't want to hear that. Contrast your firms with Apple, the one and only big firm where "Engineering supports Design - no exceptions" (see here - http://bit.ly/cry5RC - how are they doing, for normal people? Why not ask some normal people?)
Until you run your projects with the architects in control of the bricklayers, instead of the other way round, you'll continue creating the awful machines you do. And as for the bricklayers asking the semi-brick-savvy segment of the populace to help them - hm, anyone think that's gonna work?
But hey, you ElReg readers are the bricklayers. You like being in charge of your bricks. Oops: there's the problem. You don't understand how to build for normal people. At all.