Dr. John Sherry, Director of Business Innovation Research at Intel, says in an long profile on Epicpeople that anthropology is not only undersold, but also misunderstood:
People too often talk about ethnography as a tool for understanding ‘the consumer’ or ‘the customer.’ We don’t just talk to people in their homes, we think systematically. People don’t talk about it that way as much. The interdependence among lived experience, human practices, information, political organizations – that’s how we think.
Anthropology, he concludes, may be undersold, but such an outlook bodes well for practitioners in the field who can contribute holistic, ethnographic points of view to discovering new paths to innovation.