Jim Ray posits that the new AIR-based New York Times Reader app is destined for failure because it seems too much like a newspaper for its own good.
The premise is that the Times Reader mimics a newspaper because that’s what they’ve heard customers want in their research:
But those are technical problems, the real sin of Times Reader is that it’s attempting to give readers what they say they want instead of what they actually need. Henry Ford is said to have quipped that if he asked his customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse. The Times has said that they’ve listened to readers and have delivered a newspaper-like reading experience on their computers, but it isn’t what they need to be building. Face it, if any New York Times’ reader could tell the Times what they needed, instead of what they wanted, they’d be running the company.
Classic case of misusing user research