Ah, what a loaded question. I have been in new products since the mid-90s and have dealt with very large multibillion companies and very, very small startups.
Quite honestly the answer depends on how the leadership views consumer insights research. If they are user-centered, meaning design and execution of the product/service is focused on finding an unmet need and/or solving a problem, feedback is critical. If the business is internally focused then no amount of research will help as the leadership will typically dismiss what they don't like, regardless of results.
A couple of examples:
a) Large high tech company had team of brilliant engineers who were tasked with "future thinking" without regards to how they ideas could be commercialized. Of the 106 apps only 3 made it through the research process. Why - because while cool and sexy consumers were unwilling too pay, aka found no compelling value, for 103 of them. Pursuing without vetting would have been a complete misuse of company funds and resources, not to mention ending up with products no one wanted.
b) Another client was founded by a young kid from a wealthy family who had no experience, backed by a board dominated by relatives with no experience. After two rounds of user testing feedback was the app was a bomb, with the features the founder most focused on being the least valuable and the ones he hated being the most valuable. The horrible test scores did not dissuade the founder from changing course as his feeling was "consumers don't know what they want", followed by examples (Henry Ford most often).. The company cratered after the final product was judged to be totally unsellable.
So my counsel is two fold:
a) Consider all feedback relevant, especially if it is repeatedly and consistently the same
b) Ask yourself if you want to risk the monies invested and time spent by thinking your product will be the exception to the rule of "the customer is always right". In CPG the very best of the brightest marketers and product developers only get it right less than 50% of the time, even with extensive involvement of consumers throughout the process. Do you feel you can do better than this by ignoring feedback or incorporating feedback?
Not all feedback is executable, nor should it be. If your feedback is from a small group of people remember it is directional only, i.e., the feedback cannot necessarily be applied to the market at large. Small group feedback should be used to explore the "what if" in terms of features, pricing, messaging, branding, etc.
A MVP, put in front of potential users, is better than research. However, to understand what the MVP should look like, you must have users involved. Allowing for the extremely few times in history that internally-focused development has paid off, the risk of ending up with a product on the road to nowhere is extremely, extremely, high.
@Robert..introverted product development has been shown to consistently produce products that have little chance of success. A passionate view of product is necessary - but not at the expense of ignoring the market as a whole.
A focus group of one does not a market make...look up the stats for new product success..by any guage, even with professionals involved, they are atrocious, ranging from 20% all the way down to 4%.
I think if someone is looking for a formula they will be disappointed. However if they are looking to mitigate the risk of a failed product there are plenty of proven best practices that can be applied regardless of sector. There are also plenty of red flags, if one has "been there, done that" , pointing to probability of success or probability of failure.
If the money involved is yours, then by all means, be as "creative" as you want. If you are using equity capital, with an ROI expected, then no company who is mindful of fiduciary duty, will knowingly take actions that elevate the risk. Unless of course you are sure that shareholders will not come after you for failure to fulfill your duty as a Board or member of the executive team. As with other things history is full of companies who assume the latter but were hit with the former.