Finding your own otaku
My token Matrix riff:
"They're not trying to figure out what the audience wants, they're just trying to make the thing that they want, that they wish other people would make. This is the movie they wanna go see."
That's one of the Matrix CG guys talking about the Wachowski brothers. The reason they are so able to reach the early adopters in their hive is that they ARE that hive. They don't do focus groups--they make stuff they love, and fortunately for them, there are a lot of sneezers with otaku who are just like they are.