A recent course participant had diligently undertaken a survey of 250+ community members and had personally interviewed a further dozen community members.
From this research, he had created a detailed list of 19 things roughly prioritized by the number of members who wanted the item (e.g. document sharing, chat rooms, activity streams, VIP interviews, etc..).
He then turned this list into a five-year roadmap with a projected cost of each item of money, technology, or staffing time.
If he went through with this unrealistic roadmap, he would end up with an incredibly bloated community which tried to be everything to every member.
The purpose of doing the research isn’t to build an exhaustive list of everything members want and then try to do all those things. The purpose is to find out what are the top 2 to 3 things members really care about and excel in just those areas.