How to find out what customers want

When you’re launching a new product or service, there are many ways to decide what features or qualities to include.

There is a scale between Steve Jobs’ approach of “I know exactly what customers want, customers don’t know what customers want” and the approach of running multiple research groups with as many different customers as possible.

The perfect solution is usually somewhere in the middle.

Start with an educated hypothesis and then ask a few people that know about exactly what you’re trying to do. You can spend time reading and researching but if you can talk to someone directly about your assumptions, this will:

  1. Save you a lot of time
  2. Generate more ideas than you could have by yourself