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"Faster horse" vs customer development and market research

Yes, I will start from that quote by Henry Ford. The one has been quoted billion times, even though he probably never said that. Yet nowadays numerous people rely on that quote for their product strategy. Specifically, it's being used as an argument against market research.
- If I'll ask my customers what they want they will tell...
But you don't. You shouldn't ask your customers what they want. You should ask what their problems are.

Validating problems vs validating solutions

It's not either one or another. It should be both. You start with problems and then follow up with solutions.
You first need to answer why something needs to be build. Only after you need to figure out what exactly needs to be build.
Problem validation has its own techniques. Those might be: interviews, observations, feedback and data analysis. Solution validation has its own preferred methods: prototypes, MVPs, A\B tests.
Design Sprint is a great way to validate solutions, given that you have validated the problem in the first place. 

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