There’s that Henry Ford quote, where if you asked the people in a pre-car world what kind of transportation they wanted, they’d say faster horses.
When we develop products, we can come up with ideas in a few ways: we can follow competitors, we can ask users what they want, or we can use our brains, EQ and selves to understand and fill market needs.
In her book titled “Different“, Youngme Moon explains that, paradoxically, when we try to capture our company’s strengths on paper, “there is a natural inclination for folks in the competitive set to focus on eliminating differences rather than accentuating them.”
When we build products according to what other people are doing, missing and thinking about, we build stopgaps: products that solve temporary needs and temporary market trends.
We need to use our product to build real solutions. Not to keep busy, but to innovate.