3 Unique Characteristics of a Functional Job-to-be-Done

When defined correctly, a functional Job-to-be-Done has three unique and extremely valuable characteristics: First, a job is stable; it doesn’t change over time. It’s the delivery vehicle or the technology that changes. Take the music industry, for example. Over the years people have used many products to help them “listen to music” (the Job-to-be-Done). This […]

Defining Customer Needs: The Root of the Problem

Despite the available needs-gathering methods, companies nearly always fail to uncover all or even most of the customer’s needs. How is this possible? While nearly every manager agrees that the goal of innovation is to devise solutions that address unmet customer needs, a common language for communicating a need does not exist. In research we […]


Why Data Matters: An Argument with Clayton Christensen

As Jobs Theory picks up steam in the marketplace of JTBD ideas, there’s an argument being made that data doesn’t matter.  Clay’s article in Management Today says explicitly that the spreadsheet is the enemy of innovation. And, at a recent conference in Vienna, Professor Clayton Christensen made a statement that went along these lines: There are no data in […]

The Strategic Function of the Jobs-to-be-Done Needs Framework

As I have mentioned elsewhere, the Jobs-to-be-Done Needs Framework introduces the types of customer needs that must be considered to gain a deep understanding of what a customer is trying to accomplish. They include (i) the core functional Job-to-be-Done, (ii) the desired outcomes tied to the core functional Job-to-be-Done, (iii) related jobs, (iv) emotional and social jobs, […]