Recently, I heard from a friend in the States about an all together too familiar situation. A well intentioned but overly democratic Product Manager went and asked too many people for their opinion about a design accent on the hardware of a new product. The design accent was by no means radical, but it did represent a departure for the organization. The result of his constant polling and deference to the the lowest common denominator opinion was the removal of the design accent almost all together. The reason? "People either loved or hated it". He was aiming for consensus and ended up with a design that offends no one but that no one would love.
Engendering any emotion is a rare and valuable thing. His bravery wavered to fight for what he originally believed in, failing to take a leap of faith. The result is a product is less likely to make a splash in a crowded marketplace or spark conversations between customers. It's also often the case that the fear of disappointing shareholders means that a leap forward is not taken, which ironically could have ignited the stock in return.
I'm Frank Gaine. Strategist, Designer, Manager, Founder, Educator.