I just discovered a post at Humor that Works, comparing success in product innovation to creating a good stand-up act.
My favorite line:
Some of you might be wondering, but Drew, “If you’re creating a product or service for a customer, can’t you just ask the consumers what they want once and then go make it?” Nope. That doesn’t work for the same reason I can’t just ask the audience what will make them laugh and then say it.
I agree. You need to get out and see what people do–not just listen to what they tell you. Context is vital.