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Do they really want a faster horse?

Seen in an article in today’s Globe and Mail business section:

“You rarely solve epochal challenges with conventional wisdom – a fact that recalls the words of Henry Ford, a radical innovator, who once said that if he had given people what they wanted, he would have given them faster horses.”

– Neil Reynolds “Let’s avoid ethanol’s ‘bridge to nowhere'”
The Globe and Mail, Wed 24 Jan 07, page B2
Link to article (subscription or payment required) (emphasis added by me)

Why this jumped out at me is that in this day and age of rapid evolution, those entrepreneurs who truly succeed are those who are one step ahead of what people want, positioned in such a way as to satisfy their true desires.

How to do this?

By first asking the question: “What do you want?”
Then following up with the question “If you had [what you want], how would life change for you?”

Stop giving people faster horses and start satisfying their true desires.

It’s about learning how to listen to the “answer behind the answer” (ABA!)

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