The Dr. Frankenstein in me loves the idea of an automated data-driven business: generic algorithm + A-B testing + payment mechanism. If you could also automate litigation... running many in parallel, a useful monster might one day emerge. Evolution has worked well elsewhere. The real problem is an exponential search space, and time/experiments needed to explore it.
The problem of giving people what they want is also the problem of markets and democracy in general. Fortunately for us buyers/citizens, we usually eventually realize what we really want - unfortunately for the vendor/politician catering to what we previously thought we wanted.
There's an appeal to Jobs' approach: make what they will want once they've see it. Far superior to creating/governing by numbers.