Market research has its problems
Beckwith does not like research - at all.
He warns us not to assume that other people are like us. We need to be open to new ideas. Be especially open to the notion that you may be wrong about the marketplace.
Market researchs find what they're looking for
Research can be effective. But people who know that they're being observed act differently than people who don't know that they're being observed.
If I recall correctly, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle says, "You break it, you own it." That's not right. Actually, it says something like "You can't measure it accurately without changing the results of what you're measuring."
"Researchers tend to find what they are looking for."
Research hardens the convictions that we had when we started the research.
Beware of market research
"Research does not expose the truth; it blinds us to it. Seek understanding but beware of research."
Market research and innovative software ideas
Research is particularly bad when dealing with innovative ideas. The stranger your software, the smaller the number of people who will be able to tell researchers if they like it or not. New ideas make people uneasy. As a result, research tends to support middle-of-the-road ideas, and it discourages unusual ones.
Anecdotes versus focus groups
Beckwith favors soft evidence (anecdotes) over hard evidence (focus groups). With focus groups, people tend to tell you things that make them look good. That's why manual logs of TV viewing habits greatly overstate the amount of time that Americans spend watching the Publich Broadcast System's (PGS') Public TV.
People don't know themselves well enough to answer researchers' questions accurately.
Beckwith doesn't favor doing extensive research among average people. He suggests instead that you talk to people who lead and influence the market you're trying to penetrate.
Listen, and don't bother with market research
Listening is better than research, Beckwith tells us.
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