Should you listen to your users?

If you’re an entrepreneur (my def = a person/group that starts a business with the goal of profit.)

Think: Incremental progress. Sometimes good for society, often bad (see few posts back about unethical business practices.) high competition. Adding little, no or negative value. Chances of failure are low (in the sense of whether or not it’s possible to build it.) consequences of success are extremely insignificant.

Than yes.. human beings are extremely good at bitching about how things can be incrementally improved and you should take advantage of that.

If you’re a founder (my def = a person/group who is/are building the future.)

Think disruption of industries and business models. Creating new technology to increase efficiencies. Radical change. Risk of failure is extremely high. Consequences of success are extremely significant.

Than no. Human beings are extremely bad (under the current circumstances of our education and culture) at being visionary. So if you would have asked users before ‘07 whether or not a phone without buttons would be good, they would have said no.

Matter of fact, the reason why most businesses didn’t create the iPhone was because they were doing user polls and they wanted things like sliding keyboards and bigger buttons.

Same goes for asking users before ‘03 if they’d like electric cars. Everyone and their brother was bitching and moaning about range, slow charging, it being for the rich only, bad for the environment etc.

What you can do though is talk to users once you have created it (or an MVP) and they’ll help you tweak it.