"There are two opposing views on the role of the customer in innovation. One school holds that all innovations start with conversation, observation, and understanding of the customer (current or potential) with the goal of surfacing and then filling an unmet need. The other school says that customers don't know what they need, at least until they see it, and sometimes a need doesn't even exist until a solution is available to fill it."Note the reference to dormant problems in the last sentence.
The truth is that most innovations are evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. That doesn't mean they are incremental -- they are discontinuous, making leaps in design, technology application and functionality, but do so in response to evolving customer needs.Read the whole piece; it's well worth it. Via Susan Abbott.