Thomas Friedman wrote a column in the December 18, 2008 issue of the New York Times in which he gave advice to the car companies. Friedman was saying that the car companies were giving the public what they wanted, but that was their problem. "Their job is to make the cars people don't know they want but will buy like crazy when they see them." He noted Apple's success with the iPod and Toyota's success with its hybrid. His point was that companies that are too market-driven are in danger; they need to show customers the possibilities because often customers don't know what they don't know until they see other options.
Indiana DOE Redefines Textbooks
An example of being too market-driven has flamed onto the education scene in Indiana. In October 2008, the Indiana State Board of Education issued a Statement and Action Regarding Social Studies Textbooks. In short, they found that while the submitted textbooks met minimum criteria, they "... do not provide content that is interesting, engaging and supportive of effective student learning...." In the statement, the board told local districts to go ahead and review the submitted books so they could be ready for spring adoption, but the board was going to conduct a deeper review to find content (emphasis mine) that was more interesting and engaging. And the board formally expressed its concerns to publishers and asked "for their input and assistance in improving the quality of educational materials they provide."