Product do come first
Unlike me, however, most customers came to depend on Johnson’s letters. Most wrote him back. They’d tell him about their lives, their troubles, their injuries, and Johnson would lavishly console, sympathize, and advise. Especially about injuries. Few in the 1960s knew the first thing about running injuries, or sports injuries in general, so Johnson’s letters were often filled with information that was impossible to find anywhere else. [..] Some customers freely volunteered their opinion about Tigers, so Johnson began aggregating this customer feedback, using it to create new design sketches. One man, for instance, complained that Tiger flats didn’t have enough cushion. He wanted to run the Boston Marathon but didn’t think Tigers would last the twenty-six miles. So Johnson hired a local cobbler to graft rubber soles from a pair of shower shoes into a pair of Tiger flats. Voilà.