Faster Horses

There's a famous quote attributed to Henry Ford: “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

Although there's no evidence that Ford actually said this, the point is no less relevant. As someone who designs products and receives a lot of customer feedback, I can attest to the fact that many of suggestions we receive are of the "faster horses" variety. 

Customers simply may not be aware of the range of potential solutions (of the technological variety) available to solve a problem. This is not to say that customer feedback is useless—far from it. But it often makes my job harder, because I have to infer what the problem is before I can think about what an appropriate solution might be. 

And, let's face it, we all tend to think about solving our own problem and assume that most people have the same problem. In reality, we tend to overestimate the number of people with this problem, and we often forget that one person's problem is another person's feature.

What is most valuable to me, as a product designer, is a deeper understanding of the problems faced by musicians — not necessarily conclusions drawn about how one might solve them. When I start to hear about the same problem again and again, then I start to think about potential solutions.

So, if you'd like to send us your feedback and suggestions, please do so. But stick to what the problem is. Instead of telling me what product you'd like to see, tell me why you want it. Instead of telling me what type of effect you want, tell me what type of sound you are chasing and why you haven't been able to achieve it. Help me understand what the deeper, unresolved problem is.