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Learning Nugget 10 - Why you should embrace Jobs to Be Done Theory

The article below is strongly correlated to the to effort required to embrace the potential innovation of a business outcome-focused, go-to-client/customer model.

Please take a read of the article below and then our comments immediately following it. In that brief commentary, we will attempt to link the points raised in this article to the unmet customer need that they have related to their “jobs-to-be-done” for measurably enhancing their capabilities to communicate and collaborate more effectively.

As always, both link to article and cut and paste of full article (for ease of reading) below.

Phil Schiller's Grand Unified Theory of Apple

It’s all about the job to be done.

Pressed earlier this year to explain why the world needs another Mac—or any desktop computer, for that matter—Apple’s senior vice president for worldwide product marketing had a ready answer.

As a rule, Philip Schiller told Medium’s Steven Levy, you should be using the smallest possible device to do as much work as possible, before going to the next largest gadget in line.

He then delivered what Levy described as Schiller’s “grand philosophical theory” of the Apple AAPL 3.32% product line:

  • “The job of the watch is to do more and more things on your wrist so that you don’t need to pick up your phone as often.”

  • “The job of the phone is to do more and more things such that maybe you don’t need your iPad, and it should be always trying and striving to do that.”

  • “The job of the iPad should be to be so powerful and capable that you never need a notebook. Like, why do I need a notebook? I can add a keyboard! I can do all these things!””

  • “The job of the notebook is to make it so you never need a desktop, right? It’s been doing this for a decade.”

  • “[The job of the Mac] is to challenge what we think a computer can do, and do things that no computer has ever done before—[it should] be more and more powerful and capable so that we need a desktop because of its capabilities.”

Students of Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma—one of Steve Jobs’ favorite books—will recognize Schiller’s debt to what Christensen called the “job-to-be-done” theory of product development. Good product marketing, Christensen taught, starts with the job, not the customer. Here’s how he put it in a 2006 essay for the Harvard Business Review:

“With few exceptions, every job people need or want to do has a social, a functional, and an emotional dimension. If marketers understand each of these dimensions, then they can design a product that’s precisely targeted to the job… The job, not the customer, is the fundamental unit of analysis for a marketer who hopes to develop products that customers will buy.”

In other words, start with what people hire a gadget to do, rather than what the technology makes possible.

“We have thought long and deep about what choices we want to offer customers,” Schiller tells Levy. “They are all computers. Each one is offering… something unique and each is made with a simple form that is pretty eternal.”

Our commentary (connecting the dots)

The jobs-to-be-done theory discussed in the article above is also directly correlated to the design thinking training that is critical to any transofrmation of the go-to-client model..

Jobs-to-be-done, design thinking, and systems thinking are all mental models intended to go beyond the prevailing inside-out approach that is the default mindset within the enterprise business technology industry. Switching from that inside-out, product/services-driven mindset to one that is outside/in and customer-driven can be a huge advantage in the current market where the LOBs, not IT are now calling most of the shots.

Getting measurably better business outcomes from their investments requires customers to integrate a holistic mix of business process and/or business model innovation, key enabling technologies, and real changes in culture/organizational behaviors. The fact that no significant globaly enterprise technology supplier (manufacturer, SI, SP etc) is yet integrating that holistic mix of services for their customers means that there is A MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY ahead …if you can successfully execute on the mindset shift and business model innovation needed to make this jobs-to-be-done approach work within your company, and ultimately, for your customers.

This is the approach that the ASPIRE! Group have been attempting to facilitate within our clients.

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