“Job-to-be-done” changed the way I am looking at the startup I am involved with. It forces you to look at other perspectives and for many people “jobs to be done” involves a mindset change. It forces you to look at our product the way customers do.
Clayton Christensen described this concept in this paper he wrote with one of the best tech entrepreneurs and product marketers of all-time, Scott Cook of Intuit. Recently one of the pioneers of this concept, Bob Moesta, started a consultancy and great podcast around this concept. They even have a Twitter hashtag (#JTBD) about the topic.
The theory simply asks, “What job your product is hired to do?”. For instance, most people would say they buy a lawnmower to “cut the grass,” and this is true. But if a lawnmower company examines the higher purpose of cutting the grass, say, “keep the grass low and beautiful at all times,” then it might forgo some efforts to make better lawnmowers in lieu of developing a genetically engineered grass seed that never needs to be cut.
This is the power of the JTBD concept and technique: It helps the innovator understand that customers don’t buy products and services; they hire various solutions at various times to get a wide array of jobs done. You may need light survey design and sampling help from a statistician to apply this technique, but for the most part it requires no expert assistance, so you can try to use it right after you finish reading this article.