Steve Jobs on why Apple doesn’t do market research

Straight from the horse’s mouth…Apple doesn’t do market research.

I’ve heard it said again and again, but I had never seen an actual quote in which Steve Jobs says that Apple doesn’t do market research. I finally found one.


It comes care of this excellent article arguing why you can’t innovate like Apple.

Here it is:

“We do no market research. We don’t hire consultants. The only consultants I’ve ever hired in my 10 years is one firm to analyze Gateway’s retail strategy so I would not make some of the same mistakes they made [when launching Apple's retail stores]. But we never hire consultants, per se. We just want to make great products.”

Jobs elaborates on how Apple designs for themselves. (I wrote about the same idea here.)

“It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.”

The source of this is an interview with Fortune Magazine. The entire sequence is worth reading.

Another data point:

Jonathan Ive in a recent interview (also worth reading) explaining how Apple’s primary goal is not to make money, but to make great products.

“Apple’s goal isn’t to make money. Our goal is to design and develop and bring to market good products…We trust as a consequence of that, people will like them, and as another consequence we’ll make some money. But we’re really clear about what our goals are.”

It seems to me that Apple has a pretty clear story here: “Make the very best products. Business will follow.”

Published: July 29th, 2009

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