Delivering the Unexpected, Part I

As you know, I enjoy taking conventional wisdom and flipping it on its head.

Awhile back, I shared my thoughts on reversing the Golden Rule. Today, I suggest reversing another age-old nugget ­– that so-called business truism: “Give the customers what they want.”

If, for example, the late, great Steve Jobs would have been content with just giving the customers what they want, we may never have had the remarkable devices attached to our hips or glued to our laps.

Jobs was notorious for shattering conventional notions, and relentlessly driving innovation. His take: No, don’t give the customers what they want. Give them what you know they need.

After all, you know what they need. Customers are busy with their day-to-day lives. It’s not their job to know what they need. Did a customer imagine the slew of Apple products and innovative features on existing products that we currently have?


Jobs may have waited forever for the customer to voice that need.

The products we can’t live without would never have existed sans his vision and, moreover, chutzpah.

Organizations and leaders that change the game, that get noticed….they take that gutsy risk on the solutions and products and experiences we never knew we needed in the first place.

Come back Wednesday, when I’ll share with you how a man who is the epitome of “serial entrepreneur” (a name you’ll surely recognize) turned “the customer is always right” on its head by ticking off his customers first, earning their devotion later.

Now go! Be Bold!


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