Friday, 29 January 2010

You can't always get what you want....

For the last 44 years I've laboured under the mistaken impression that the greatest track on "Blonde on Blonde" was "Stuck inside a mobile with those Memphis Blues Again". I pictured poor Bob trapped in a Memphis traffic jam getting depressed until suddenly twigging last week that he was referring to Mobile, the third biggest City in Alabama.

One of the best lines of this best song is : "Your debutante just knows what you need. But I know what you want."

Begging to differ, although he isn't a debutante, the great and gifted Steve Jobs of Apple said : "You can't just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they'll want something new."

That's very true. You can market research until you're blue in the face, but some of the greatest innovations have been inspired rather than mechanically produced from questions and answers. Penicillin, the flush toilet, the Sinclair ZX80 and the Ipod didn't come from Market research but from flashes of brilliance and inspiration coupled with hard graft.

It's a pity the politicians lining up for the forthcoming election don't chuck out their focus-group marketing and spinning and just apply some inspiration. It might just work.

16 comments:

Dave said...

Not asking my readers what they want or giving it to them has been the inspiration for my blog for the last few years.

Z said...

Gosh, that's awfully profound, Rog.

Actually, I rather want an iPad. I'm just so easily led.

Rog said...

Dave: An example to all of us.

Z: As a recent Apple convert, I'm also very keen to get my hands on the iPad.

Richard said...

Apparently the iPad can double as a phone. Aren't we getting dangerously close to Dom Joly territory?

KAZ said...

Do you think they might be 'inspired' to tell the truth?
Or maybe just buy an iPad and get bigger pockets.

Roses said...

You're absolutely right. Sometimes you have to lead the market. I'm not an Apple acolyte, but I do have a lot of respect for that mob.

And no, I dread to think what would happen in our politicians had flashes of inspiration. The trouble they'd get up to....

PS. my wv: facke

Geoff said...

I want an iPad as long as it's got 3G connectivity.

I thought it was a Mobil gas station and the Memphis blues were downers. Bloody poets.

Z said...

My iPhone has 3G connectivity, Geoff. Sadly, most of Norfolk hasn't.

Macy said...

Just to be a wee bit contrary here, wasn't the last politician who famously IGNORED what his country was telling him called Tony Blair? His war in Iraq didn't exactly pan out too well did it?

Rog said...

Richard: Now THAT would make Dom Joly junny again!

Kaz: They could float their iPads in their iMoats.

Roses: They grow on you! I think we've got the best politicians money can buy at the moment.

Geoff: Poetic nuances never translate. Stuck inside a Wild Bean Cafe with those Wolverhampton Blues again. Nope.

Z: Mine also. Newmarket has a lot of 2G's.

Macy: Good point. Blair & Fred Goodwin could punch it out in an unpopularity contest.

Sarah said...

Sliced bread?

Elizabeth said...

Rog, did you actually use the words "politicians" and "inspiration" in the same sentence? Very funny. :)

On a related note, I've watched last night an interview with David Cameron, your Conservative Party leader, and was stunned.

This is what passes for right-wingers among you Brits? How lucky you are!

He sounded like an American progressive Democrat, with his insistence on supporting equal rights for all people, equal educational opportunities, and his admission that he "cherished NHS."

Gasp!

A similar admission (if we even had any chances for a NHS) from an American politician would be a suicide in more ways than one. And our conservative would never ever utter such filthy words. Never. Ever.

What a difference an ocean makes...

Rog said...

Sarah: Striped toothpaste.

Elizabeth: I did have trouble understanding why Obama can't get mediocre reforms through until I watched a bit of Fox News.
Mind you, the US are more up front - in the UK the majority pretent to be right-on liberals but privately send there kids to private schools and use private medicine.

Z said...

Is it all right to use private medicine (no insurance, I paid) if one doesn't profess to be right-on or liberal, Rog?

Rog said...

Z: Absolutely. It's the hypocracy I was having a bash at.

Billy said...

I had some Bob Dylan sheet music and the Blonde on Blonde referred to a track called "Stuck Inside of Mobile With the". I just assumed that Bob was the kind of person who'd finish a song title in the middle of the sentence.