I (Chris) just finished participating at the Developer’s World panel.
We could distill the message of that presentation (and our last eight years of focus) to this:
Start thinking like an anthropologist.
If you want to create the next big thing, it needs to connect with people in a powerful way.
To do that, you need to understand your customer/reader/audience in a new way. Surveys and focus groups have their place. But you need to feel their pain. You need to feel empathy.
The big challenge is then making sure your developers, designers and senior executives feel that pain, too.
Be less like Rupert Murdoch and more like Margaret Mead
How do you do this? That’s for another post but you can start now my observing friends, family and strangers behave with your product.
When you do make sure to: Ignore what they say. Watch what they do.