What is ‘Other-Focus?’
Steve Jobs did not use ‘focus groups,’ because he had a genuine other-focus that led him to deeply understand what customers wanted, even before they realized they wanted it. He didn’t use the term ‘customer-focused,’ because he already embodied a passion for creating what customers really wanted. That ability comes from a genuine ‘other-focus.’
A Genuine Other-Focus Will Help Make Sure You Create What People Really Want
A major part of innovating or creating any new product is to make sure you’re creating something people actually want. Many innovators make the painful mistake of getting lost in the technology or the abstract theories. Instead, you need to develop the skill of deep empathy for the people you are hoping will one day buy your product.
Aspiring to Innovate Without a Genuine Other-Focus’ Will Fail
You may recall the famous failed product called the Segway. It was a self-balancing, two-wheeled electric vehicle that you could use instead of walking. It launched in 2001, to great fanfare. There was only one big problem: nobody wanted it. It simply didn’t meet a need.
When you have a deep other-focus, you stay attuned to what people really need.