Listening to Customers is Bad?

Written by Azat MardanJuly 04, 2016

We often hear that we need to listen to our customers/users from business, marketing and product development gurus. A popular Lean Startup methodology teaches to make as many experiments to learn about customers, their needs and wants. Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn and Tony Robbins said something along the lines of: if you help enough people, you can achieve anything. Everyone seems to be crazy about customer satisfaction. Do we live in a tyranny of a customer?

As I’m re-writing my new book React Quickly, there are some concepts I don’t agree with. However, the book reviewers told me they want the book to cover certain things, so here I am, catering to my customer. What is the majority is not right? What if there’s something morally or ethically wrong with the thing that the majority of customers want?

Historically, there are plenty examples when majority, and democracy in particular, made wrong decisions. So does it make people who like to create a great product, company or business also morally or ethically wrong in the long run, just because they listened to their customers with their wrong ideas and they knew the ideas were wrong? Something to think about. Maybe the perfect approach is to know what your customers want, but give them what they need (and what’s right).