Imagine someone giving you a gift that you throw away the next minute. You feel like you received a gift from someone who does not ay attention to your interests, your likes or dislikes. And now imagine a different case: You receive a gift about an area you are interested in, or you like. This time you feel good because you know that your friend knows you, pays attention in your likes and interest.This is common almost in every corner of our world, for all societies. Because we all love to be cared.
A product is like a gift.
If it addresses the needs, interests or expectations of the customer, then the customer thinks she/he is cared for. And this is only possible with empathy in the first step to identify real customer needs. If you develop a crowd-sourcing tool and expect from the community to bother and report you the graffiti on the streets in a non-developed country, you get nothing! Any tools should rely on solid customer needs through empathy.