Friday, 26 October 2012

Focus Groups Kill Innovation? Half Empty Half Full.

We've all heard the phrase, the glass is half empty or half full depending on how you look at it. True. But what if the customer isn't thirsty? 

In the case of Focus Groups and the Innovation Engine in the recent article in Fast Company, naturally, once again the definition of innovation is forgotten and Joseph Schumpeter is spinning because the underlying assumption is that customers naturally know what they want, can articulate it, and or want to. The later part is the key to this article and many others related to demand, elastic price demand determination of innovations, and of course ignoring design, design art and if customers know what they want before it is even presented. 

Regardless, the key is, and always has been, what if the customer is not thirsty for it, for a new product innovation, a new glass a new car, a new anything. Will any focus group help this? 

Yes. No. Who knows. But surely ideas and innovations come from people. Individuals. Groups. And without focus of some sort, no new innovations come into existence.