Andy Hunt blogs about shopping, not being able to find a shampoo that doesn't have fruit juice or herbal essences in it. He calls this "herd marketing" and writes: "It should be [...] the things I want. Isn't that supposed to be the essence of marketing? Give the people what they want -- not what everyone else wants to give them, or even what you want to give them."
Well, my understanding of typical marketing is that it's all about getting people to want what you have to offer, not offering what people want. Harry Beckwith's book Selling The Invisible was refreshing in that he goes against the grain, and says that selling the steak is more important than selling the sizzle.
Laurent Bossavit quoted Beck in his blog, referring to http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?GettingBetter. Thanks, Laurent.
How good the design is doesn't matter near as much as whether the design is getting better or worse. If it is getting better, day by day, I can live with it forever. If it is getting worse, I will die.