^ Holy hell! THAT is an excellent example of automotive design inspiration completely ruining a product. Isn't the story that they designed them not from the last outward, but from aesthetics inward in some kind of collaboration with a car design group?
To answer the earlier question is this about me or the people I'm designing for...ultimately the people I'm designing for. My assumption has always been that if I am thinking something, others are also thinking the same thing. So the struggle to find functional, lasting and repurposable things that simply and elegantly disappear cannot by my struggle alone.
A very good proof of this is the car market. A honda civic is a great car by most practical metrics. It's reliable, gets great gas mileage, and accelerates reasonably fast enough for all but the most extreme practical purposes. A BMW 328i is almost twice as expensive, is way less reliable, gets worse gas mileage, more expensive to maintain, etc. etc. But if you asked most people which car they'd rather have if money was no object, they'd say the BMW. The reason for that is because it's emotionally more fulfilling to own one. They're more fun to drive, they look way cooler, they have a bunch of very nice features (that are by and large unnecessary), and they're a status symbol.
I'm not sure that's true. If someone is status oriented, sure, they'll take the BMW. Otherwise, they'll see two metal boxes and eight wheels and take the one that's the least hassle, assuming they haven't been brainwashed into stupidity by car ads.
I've been recently reading through the Design of Everyday things, and Norman's discussion of signifiers seems pertinent here; sometimes a completely minimalistic form doesn't adequately convey to a user exactly how they're supposed to use a product. Off the top of my head, a USB plug is a pretty good example - its completely rectangular profile basically guarantees that I'm going to try to plug it in the wrong way round (probably twice, inexplicably), where as something like an HDMI cable I never get wrong, thanks to the functionally unnecessary angles on the bottom half of the profile.
Crappy minimalism, like the Rashid vacuum, signifies a lack of attention to detail and a disregard for end users. Good minimalism dispenses with needless details, has an evident functionality, and is comfortable in its commonness. T shirts are good minimalism.