Everyone wants to follow the leader, not many want to be one

We all have access to the same information. To the same quotes, to the same people, to the same sources. To the same…

Regurgitation has taken center stage.

For example, those of us ‘in the know’ have a pretty good idea about how Apple works. We know they don’t do focus groups, that they don’t follow traditional management protocol. And that they are ferocious in the pursuit for perfection. Is there anything else we need to know?

Except for all the nitty gritty details, not much else I think. Yet people still love to debate about the same stuff over and over again.

Take this interview by the Guardian with Jonathan Ive, and how he says that Apple doesn’t do focus groups:

Q: How do you know consumers will want your products?

A: We don’t do focus groups – that is the job of the designer. It’s unfair to ask people who don’t have a sense of the opportunities of tomorrow from the context of today to design.

I don’t know when or how long ago Steve Jobs said that Apple doesn’t do focus groups. I’m pretty sure it was a long time ago. Yet, to this day it still seems radical.

The Guardian interview has over 2K retweets and 1K Likes. That tells you something. I really didn’t pay attention to it until I saw on my Facebook Newsfeed that a few friends had posted and commented on it. That was enough to prompt me to write about it.


The point: Don’t just read it. Do something about it.

Take a risk. Make a mistake.

It’s great that it causes conversation, gets people excited because they talk about the same things they find interesting but…so what? If you’re inspired by the fact that Apple doesn’t do focus groups (they are not the only ones), then by all means do the same thing. Don’t just read, get excited and do nothing.

Better yet, ask yourself tough questions: How can you become better at anticipating people’s wants and needs? What’s different now? How do social media tools change the dynamics of anticipating people’s needs?

Everyone wants to follow the leader, not many want to be one.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs


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