Late last year, Mark Cuban (self-made billionaire and owner of the Dallas Mavericks) wrote that entrepreneurs should ignore what their customers want. This may sound shocking, but it’s nothing new. In fact, it’s practically common knowledge for start-up companies; many entrepreneurs (including Steve Jobs) consider it one of the “best practices” of developing a product.
In Cuban’s words, “Entrepreneurs need to be reminded that it’s not the job of their customers to know what they don’t. In other words, your customers have a tough enough time doing their jobs. They don’t spend time trying to reinvent their industries or how their jobs are performed.” While it’s important to stay in touch with a customer base, we shouldn’t ask customers to solve a problem that they expect us to solve. This scenario can be called the “Doctor’s Dilemma.” Many startups would benefit from tackling their product feedback with the Doctor’s Dilemma in mind.