Steve Jobs offers contradictory advice.

“Do not listen to your customers,” he says. “They do not know what they want.”

Yet in the same interview, in Business Week, he says, “Always listen to your customers.”

Which view is right? 

In the words of the Quaker prayer, modified for innovators:
• Give us the courage to not listen to our customers and provide them with innovations that fail market tests and that people say they do not want and do not need. E.g. the Walkman.
• Give us the serenity to to listen to our customers, when they tell us what they want and need and when we believe they are telling the truth. E.g., the FLIP camcorder (see next Blog).
• And – give us the wisdom to know the difference.