Re: What iiiiis it gooood for? Absolutely nothing! (say it again)
>Hey tech companies - find a need and meet it, don't make a shiny widget and try to convince us we need to buy it.
I get where you're coming from, but what you say is easier said than done. How does a company identify a need or a desire amongst its potential customers? Let's look at some different approaches:
- Focus groups. Hmmm. As Henry Ford might have said: "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse".
- The CEO wants it. Hmm, one assumes that the CEO became the CEO because he wasn't an idiot. However, his life style may be very different to that of his customers. This approach can work though - the Sony Walkman was born from a request by their CEO to his engineers, because he wanted some way of listening to music on trans-Pacific flights.
- Self-starting inventor or designer. This approach can work - at least you know at least one person wants the product. However, the designer might not realise how niche his requirements are, or he might get so caught up in the process of refining his design that he becomes blind to any larger market.
- Studying the target market. Unlike focus groups, this approach is more objective. At its simplest, it could be a time-and-motion study. It can be very labour intensive, and involve filming people complete day-to-day tasks, before spending lots of analysing said data.
- Samsung throw everything out there and see what sells. They made a range of smartphones of different sizes and lots of people bought the big ones. Lots of studies might have suggested that using a big phone with one thumb is a chore, but evidently users were willing to take a hit on that in exchange for being better able to show photos to their mates.
It isn't for me to say if any of these example approaches is superior - they have all at some point resulted in some popular products.