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Strategic Consultant with HYPE Innovation, helping enterprises get more value from their innovation programs. Firm believer in the concept of jobs-to-be-done, which stresses the importance of understanding customers' wants and needs. Also sports a 2:57 marathon PR. Dad to two awesome kids.

2 responses to “It’s the Jobs-to-Be-Done, Stupid!”

  1. john trenouth

    This is something I struggle with on almost every project: sales and marketing folks who, because they have relatively frequent contact with cusotmers, think they know exactly what the user needs.

    They don’t. They know users from a certain narrow perspective (customer purchasing behavior). But this simply isn’t enough to drive product development.

    So I often find myself trying to get everyone to focus not on what customers say, but what users do; not on what we think users need but what we observe their actual pains to be; not through the frame of legacy products but through users’ real experiences.

    Its a heard sell though, and there is always a ton of resistance. Most people in product development simply refuse to see the world outside the lens of their legacy products. And so we have companies like Kodak, BlackBerry, Nintendo, Yahoo, etc…

    (And yes, instead of buying a new camera, I bought a new iPhone. The phone and app features are fine, but I really wanted a good still/video camera to capture moments as they happen. The iPhone solved my problem. The average digital camera simply didn’t.)

  2. Hutch Carpenter

    John –

    That is a fantastic perspective you’ve brought. The Samsung product manager is just the latest in a long line of people who either:
    – Couldn’t figure out how to look beyond their current products
    – Had no interest in doing so

    But their customers certainly had no problem looking beyond the company’s existing products. Plugging into the emerging, dynamic thinking of customers is going to be needed to avoid the “typical” company fate,.

    Hutch