Seeing Both Sides Blog Article
“… one of the interesting tension points that arose is the challenge an entrepreneur faces in selecting their primary product design approach. Should they follow the Steve Blank, Customer Development Process school of product development or the Steve Jobs “vision” school? In other words, should they pursue a user-centric design paradigm — setting priorities based on rigorous tests and listening excercises that determine what users want — or should they pursue a more top-down approach akin to Steve Jobs, who famously said: “It is hard to design by focus groups because most of the time people don’t know what they want until you show it to them. ”
Steve Blank’s book, Four Steps to the Epiphany, has become an instant classic in Start-Up Land for good reason. Along with the complimentary book by Eric Ries, The Lean StartUp, it provides an incredibly useful guide for starting companies, testing hypotheses and creating products that users love.
… founders should never let themselves off the hook to applying the test and learn principles of Steve Blank to monitor their decisions and continuously validate them. And the bar should be very high for such overrides. As the 19th century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer observed: “Talent hits a target no else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”
Founders who override their users are betting on genius. Steve Jobs and Drew Houston have proven that genius pays off.”