Where Customer Focus Does Work
Clearly, you need to understand your customers and keep them top of mind or your customer churn will be painful. Mark does point this out. If there is something in a product your customers really want, you'd better get it and protect it, otherwise, you'll find they will go someplace else. In short, while customer input might have actually been counterproductive for the iPad, it will be critical to keeping customers on this product and preventing competitive erosion. But you just have to keep them happy. Customers tend not to move very easily and once hooked, they are hard to move. Companies like Apple and EMC have demonstrated this for years.
Mark also brings up a problem with competitive analysis: Putting too much effort into responding to competitive moves and not stepping away from the pack. Apple did this right with the iPod, Microsoft badly with Plays for Sure by creating Zune. The best example, however, was GM in the 70s. It had one of the best competitive analysis groups in the world and could tell you down to decimals exactly what it took to build a competing car like a Toyota. However, it would feed that into the design process, which took five years, which was why products like the Chevy Vega were more similar to 1960s-era Toyotas and why Toyota kicked its butt in the 70s. You don't win races by focusing excessively on the folks in front of you or behind you. You win by focusing on the finish line.
Wrapping Up: Customers Are and Aren't Important
In the creation of a new product, customers can be more distraction than help because they live in a world different from what will exist when a future product is created. However, once the product is out, their satisfaction and loyalty are critical to your ability to maintain low enough costs and manageable customer churn.
Sony is a company that has nearly forgotten what it means to maintain customer loyalty, and it has paid a painful price for that over the last decade. Sun was even more tragic. Remembering what customers are best at, being customers, and leveraging them while doing what Cuban suggests and focusing on your own product innovation and name selection work can go a long way to assuring your firm's long-term success. Yes, I know it is incredibly hard to do this. The most successful way to predict the future is to invent it.