Hosted software enables companies producing software to add features and address problems quite frequently. Most enterprise software companies release software every three months. Some even release every week. Companies that product software today have the opportunity to not only add features anytime but also remove or modify features significantly even while their customers are using the software.
Yet, product managers and product designers have a product validation mind set today. They build a feature and ask customers for their approval or their feedback. One thing they do not normally ask is if that feature actually helps the customer run their business better. They do not asking the customer enough open ended questions about what their business problems are and if there is anything they can do to solve that business problem.
My colleagues @enricgili @esdediego and I have experimented with product conversations rather than product validations for a couple of years now. It works better than just asking customers to validate a particular feature.
Customers have a role to play as well. They need to sit back and ask themselves why they are asking for a particular feature. May be even ask themselves if software is the real solution to their problems.