Market Research: Product Planning Based on the Opinions of Schoolgirls
Large advertising companies have long invested huge sums of money in conducting studies based on research, customer surveys and interviews. I myself have participated in such studies. At the big advertising agencies they round up users and market to them as reps from the manufacturing companies watch, sometimes through one-way mirrors. Iíve heard of some companies that go so far as to base their product planning on the opinions of schoolgirls. Will this type of planning seriously result in a hit product? I don't think so, and ... neither did Steve Jobs. Iíve actually been to many of these marketing focus groups, and I can tell you that no great ideas come of them.
He then quotes Steve Jobs on the matter:
Itís not the consumersí job to know what they want.
Itís really hard to design products by focus groups. A lot of times, people donít know what they want until you show it to them.