Title: Competing Against Luck
Conventional wisdom is wrong.
Understanding your customers is not the best way to drive innovation.
Understanding customer jobs, their day-to-day, predictably reveals opportunities to remove friction and innovate.
In a world obsessed with data to better understand customers, this is a great reminder that data doesn’t tell you why a customer bought your product. You need to go talk to them and understand what job they “hired” your product to do.
A well-defined job is multi-layered and complex, which is good. If you solve it, you get a competitive advantage.
Perfectly satisfying someone’s job likely requires not just a product, but creating and delivering a whole set of experiences.
A job is defined as, “progress a person is trying to make in a particular circumstance.”
The best solution arises when you have a job to be done but no easy solution for it.
Companies, particularly established ones, can get into bad habits of defining themselves by the products they sell (8-inch drills) instead of the job they do (drill 8-inch holes).
Ask, what has to be fired for my product to be hired?