Your customers are not buying your products, they are hiring them to get a job done.
Jobs-to-be-done is a term introduced by Harvard Business School Professor Clay Christensen to explain that customers hire products to get a job done. Other people have stated this concept in different ways. As far back as the 19th century, Thomas Edison said, “Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.” A customer’s job-to-be-done is the utility a product should satisfy.
In the 1960s Theodore Levitt at the Harvard Business School was famous for saying, “People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” In other words, focus on the customer’s job, not the product, in order to achieve success.
Start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology.
And more recently, Steve Jobs said product development should “start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology.” The job-to-be-done is the customer experience. And Apple became the most valuable company in the world with this focus.
But how do you focus your team on your customer’s job-to-be-done?
This is easier said than done.
Jobs-to-be-done are very complex. Even the seemingly simple jobs can have over 100 customer needs. Customer needs are the metrics customers use to judge the speed and accuracy with which they can get a job done. For example, selling a used car to another person is a job that has 104 customer needs.
thrv is the first and only software that focuses your team on your customer’s job-to-be-done. Why is this focus important? Because most product roadmaps are full of ideas that do not satisfy unmet customer needs and, as a result, increase the risk of company failure.
People don’t want a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.
Companies do extensive amounts of customer research, including focus groups, interviews, and “voice of the customer” listening. But this hasn’t improved the success rate of product teams. Why? Because the focus is not on the customer’s job-to-be-done.
As Henry Ford notably said, “If I asked customers what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse.” In other words, don’t ask customers what product they want, ask them about what job (i.e. what task or goal) they need to accomplish and what is difficult, frustrating or time-consuming about getting the job done.
This is thrv‘s key difference: it identifies all the needs in your customer’s job-to-be-done to help your team build a high growth product roadmap that will beat your competition.