Customers tend to come up with – and understand – incremental improvements. Important, but potentially a trail straight towards a cliff. Radical new concepts tend to fly under the radar, accepted by a few early adopters or as a solution to a niche problem until suddenly it makes sense in a wider context.
So what happens when you let customers control your product development? They get what they want from you until the radical new solution is matured by somebody else. THEN THEY LEAVE, WONDERING WHY YOU WEREN’T MORE INNOVATIVE.
So Creative Fire Extinguisher #3 is expecting your customers to be the visionaries. If you allow innovation to be driven from outside your organization, then at some point you will find your self so far behind the curve that your future is at stake.