The Ford analogy seems a little off. Because Ford promotes that consumers would want a horse instead of a car I took what Ford said to mean consumers don't know what to want. But when I read Google's approach I don't hear anything analogous with the Ford quote when you say: “Follow the user and all else will follow”.
@ymerej: Thank you for the comment. The analogy is indeed intended to infer that asking consumers what they want (the traditional focus group model) will likely result in more of the same. What we mean by "follow the user and all else will follow" is that when we look at the aggregated, anonymised user data, we can often infer use behaviour patterns, which in turn help us build or refine features and products that are tailored to the end user.
You are welcome to comment here, but your remarks should be relevant to the conversation. To keep the exchanges focused and engaging, we reserve the right to remove off-topic comments, or self-promoting URLs and vacuous messages