To add onto his explanation and make it even more accessible, I want to break it down for you.
When a customer says, “I want ______ in your app,” you can’t take that only on its own. It’s not that the customer is wrong; it’s that you can’t build every feature for every customer.
Detecting and separating Aspirational Demand from Reaching Demand will allow you to prioritize and discover what benefits the customer is trying to get to.
A common feature request I heard a lot was this — “I want Twitter integration.” I asked them why, and I would hear any number of responses that would eventually lead to a dead-end. Of all the people who I gave my business card to and instructed them to show me how adding an [ambiguous] Twitter integration would help them get more leads, sales or save time — or other business uses, I received zero responses to my inbox.
Seriously, zero. The sample size was about 20 over the course of six months.
The sad thing is, I was serious. I really wanted to go to battle for them, but evidently, they didn’t find it important enough to write a short email telling me how it would help them. I knew a few ideas on what might help them, but I am not the end-user and really couldn’t go to battle since users didn’t find it important themselves.
Alas, I had just encountered Aspirational Demand. It’s fantasy. It’s an idea and nothing more.