You have to sell your product to someone so asking customers what they want makes a lot of sense. Checking with the people who are going to buy your product will let you know if they will actually pay for it.
The last thing you want is to find out that you have spent time and money making something that no one wants and that you can’t sell.
Validating your ideas with customers getting their feedback as soon as possible reduces your risk allowing you to kill failed ideas early and giving you the change to reinvent ideas into something that sells.
But as Henry Ford said that “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.“ In this he has a point customers don’t always know what they want until they see it. Did anyone know they wanted an ipod before apple produced one? No of course not.
So should we just make things that customers have told us they wanted or produce new unasked for products that we believe will work. It is not an either or choice between the two methods, it should be both.
We should feel to propose new ideas and get feedback from customers on these ideas as soon as we can to prove the idea is a valid one.