What is Jobs-to-be-Done Philosophy?
The Maxim of Jobs-to-be-Done Philosophy:
Is an ideology
To help a person
To accomplish a job
A job-to-be-done is a goal, objective, or problem to be solved. Jobs-to-be-done philosophy provides the language and tools to understand a customer's motivations. It's the most powerful model ever created for the marketer, the innovator, the new product developer, or the executive to create value for customers.
While many folks have contributed to the ideology, the founding fathers are (in alphabetical order): Lance Bettencourt, Clayton Christensen, Theodore Levitt, and Anthony Ulwick.
A customer "hires" a product to accomplish a job. This simple statement clarifies something that most have terrible difficulty understanding. Customers do not care about brands, companies, products or technologies. They only care about getting their job done. And they'll adopt the product that helps them to get it done the best.
Even with this understanding, in practice, it's not easy to determine what "best" really is. The 48 laws of JTBD philosophy provides the model to frame the customer's world so that it can be understood. However, the first four laws provide the foundation for the rest:
Law #1: A customer hires a product to accomplish a job.
Law #2: To make something perfect, you must remove everything that makes it imperfect.
Law #3: The goal of JTBD philosophy is to help a customer to accomplish a job perfectly.
Law #4: JTBD philosophy lives within the duality of jobs (yin) and products (yang).
Law #1, A customer hires a product to accomplish a job, properly illustrates the relationship between a customer and the product they purchase. It's a transaction. The job is "what" a customer desires while the product is just the "how." The means to the end.
Law #2, To make something perfect, you must remove everything that makes it imperfect, gives us our charge. It defines "better" for us. Better is to move towards perfection - and it launches us on an obsessive quest to find and destroy the imperfections.
Law #3, The goal of JTBD philosophy is to help a customer to accomplish a job perfectly, is really just the synthesis of Law #1 and Law #2. Perhaps this implication is obvious, however, throughout the 48 laws, nothing is left unstated.
Law #4, JTBD philosophy lives within the duality of jobs (yin) and products (yang), leverages the wisdom of the ancients. The well known "Tai Chi" symbol" presents yin and yang as a duality. Symbolized as white and black, together. Light and darkness, together. They are opposing forces in motion, in balance.
Yin, represented by the black portion of the Tai Chi symbol, represents the night, the darkness, the winter, the cold. It is sleeping and restful. Passive and receptive. It looks inward. Yang, represented by the white portion of the Tai Chi symbol, represents the day, the light, the sun, the summer, the heat. Yang is movement and waking. Active and aggressive, looking outward.
This ancient model presents the duality of a JTBD and a product. It turns out that yin and yang perfectly represents the reality of two things that are separate, and yet, each contains a bit of the other. Jobs are yin energy. They are the void, the challenge, the yearning, the problem to be solved. Products are yang energy. They fill the void. They are the action, the movement, the solution.