Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.

— Henry Ford (*widely attributed to him, but no actual evidence exists that he ever said those words).

This famous adage is widely quoted in conversations about innovation.

Should we build what our customers want?

Or should we forge ahead with our grand vision?

Both approaches have their pros and cons. I have witnessed enough debates on this topic in product/solution design conversations to last a lifetime. One way is not better or worse than the other. The approach you take depends entirely on the context of the problem.

But the salient point that we often miss during such debates is that at the end of the day, you want to build a solution that is needed, not merely wanted.

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Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

What will happen if we choose to do nothing?

I remember a poster at my old doctor’s office encouraged patients to ask the doctor three key questions once the doctor had recommended a procedure or treatment course:

1) Why are we doing this?
2) Are there any alternatives?
3) What happens if we do nothing at all?

I think this is an excellent framework for analyzing any problem or decision.

And while #1 and 2 usually get the most attention, it’s #3 that actually tells you if this problem is even worth solving at all.

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It was lovely to catch up with Pei Mun Lim (ZenHao Consulting) a few months ago to muse about requirements gathering, working with end-users, prioritizing user stories, exploring the Salesforce ecosystem, and many things in between.

You can see more of Pei’s fantastic work at Zenhao Training or follow #OnThePeiroll…

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Pragati Sinha

Pragati Sinha

Analytical mind. Creative bent. Avid Reader. Aspiring Writer.