Wednesday, February 05, 2014

"People don't know what they want until you show them"- Steve Jobs

I had read this saying by Steve Jobs quite sometime back, when the iPhone had first been introduced to the world. I revisited it once more recently while working for a presentation for my boss. The context was customer value, but this saying got me thinking along a different line - about life.

While doing MBA, Mr Kotler's views on marketing was of utmost essence, if one wanted to excel in marketing. He believed, that the customer's need led to product development and innovation. All the Ps and the Cs pointed to the fact - that the customer knows what he wants and is missing. Steve Jobs, through his saying, turned Kotler's views on its head. The customer does not know what he wants. And surprisingly, it rang a chord in my heart - I believe Steve Jobs (no offence to Mr Kotler).

When I am looking to buy a good dress - I only know that it must look good on me. Its when I see the clothes, the colors, the patterns, the prints and the way it fits me - can I finally choose. I did not know, before I saw, what was the exact dress that I wanted. This is a small example.

A bigger one is choosing one's life partner. I may have a laundry list of adjectives of the kind of person I want to spend the rest of my life with. And all those adjectives combined, cannot give me a picture of the person I want. When I meet someone, its only then that I am able to judge. Sometimes you feel attracted to someone with no bearing to the adjectives you had in mind.And you realize this is what you want. Essentially, it is only after setting eyes on a person, can you decide whether you want them. Its true about love, infatuation where you suddenly wake up today dreaming about someone you have met and whom you never knew existed till yesterday.

"People don't know what they want until you show them"

It also tells me that there has to be someone thinking differently, boldly, disruptively and inventively enough to shake people into realizing this is what they had been missing. Vision and dreams powerful enough to change the future, to bend the paradigm, to excite a need in people for a product or service. iPhone, Skype, tablets and so on.

Actually, if I come to think of it, someone knows what he wants. And it is the visionary. And then, his vision becomes the need of the masses. Perhaps, Mr Kotler was right after all.

Well, I'll be happy to hear your views.

Take care