I've been reading _Blink_ by Malcolm Gladwell the past week. It's a fascinating read and I can't even attempt to provide a synopsis. So many concepts have already been explored. The main focus is the split-second decisions, where and how we make them and when they work.
I've just finished reading the chapter on Market Research. Talking about the Pepsi challenge, the Aeron chair, food tasters. A sentence resonates with me, p 175. Gladwell is talking about when traditional Market Research fails to provide an accurate estimate of the audience's response to a new product.
... Market research isn't always wrong, of course. If All in the Family had been more traditional -- and if the Aeron had been a minor variation on the chair that came before it -- the act of measuring consumer reactions would not have been nearly as difficult. But testing products or ideas that are truly revolutionary is another matter, and the most successful companies are those that understand that in those cases, the first impressions of their consumers need interpretation. We like market research because it provides certainty -- a score, a prediction; if someone asks us why we made the decision we did, we can point to a number. But the truth is that for the most important decisions, there can be no certainty. ...[I]t is the new and different that is always most vulnerable to market research.
This reminds me of some Guy Kawasaki books I've read. And makes me think more on the nature of what I do in my job with technology and the difficulties I've had and the despair I feel at certain times.
To be successful at new and innovative projects, ideas, innovations, one must have additional energy, drive, focus and internal strength... one something could call ego - ergo my previous post.