Working Backwards to the Technology

Simple but powerful piece by John Gruber reviewing an important moment from Steve Jobs’ comeback at Apple:

One of the things I’ve always found is that you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backwards to the technology. You can’t start with the technology and try to figure out where you’re going to try to sell it. And I’ve made this mistake probably more than anybody else in this room. And I got the scar tissue to prove it.

Of course, one must differentiate between seeing a new technology that inspires a product (e.g. Steve Jobs seeing the first GUI at Xerox PARC), and developing technologies for the sake of R&D, with only potential prospects of turning these technologies into products.