Steve Jobs (1955-2011) embodied yesterday’s theme about innovators and “disruptive” technologies. From biographer Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs:
“…customers don’t know what they want until we’ve shown them.”
“Did Alexander Graham Bell do any market research before he invented the phone?”
“I think Henry Ford once said, ‘If I’d asked customers what they wanted, they would have told me, “A faster horse!”‘ People don’t know what they want until you show it to them. … Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page.”
In 2008, it was time for a new cell phone. I went into a store to buy a Blackberry. I liked the miniature keyboard. The young clerk said, “Before you decide on the Blackberry, can I show you my phone?” I said, “Sure.” He pulled out his iPhone with the touch screen and performed two or three maneuvers. About one-fourth of the way through his 60-second sales pitch, I said, “I’ll take one.” I had encountered a disruptive technology.