Don’t Listen to Ford – Customers Know Best

Studying entrepreneurship at MIT, I constantly hear the importance of engaging customers early on in the development of new products. To create a successful new product, you have to listen to the customers and really understand their needs.

But some companies don’t do it. A common reason not to engage the customer is the feeling that its a waste of time because customers can’t conceive of breakthrough products. Henry Ford once said “if we asked our customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” The key to this quote for me, though, is the question that’s being asked. You can’t just ask a customer what they want. You have to really get …

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