“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity”

11 March, 2021

I think this is a great quote that sums up all that is wrong with the ‘Faster Horse Myth’ tin foil hat brigade.

There are those that we meet who argue that you can’t use consumer and customer insight to develop solutions because the customer doesn’t know enough about the technology or what is possible.

They often use a quote wrongly attributed to Henry Ford that says ‘If I’d have asked them what they wanted, they’d have asked for a faster horse’. QED their logic goes, as the consumer cannot tell you what to build they offer no constructive value within the innovation process.

How misguided these poor souls are.

If a consumer or customer does not tell you how to solve the problem, that’s exactly as it should be.

That is what your R&D department is for. Those clever people with their white coats and Bunsen burners. They are the ones that have the resources and pedigree to invent solutions that will change the world.

Insight development is about asking ‘what needs to be solved’ and ‘what currently cannot be done’, let your own experts have the freedom to creatively solve ‘How to make that happen!’