The Jobs-to-be-Done Concept

When planning new products, companies often start by segmenting their markets and positioning their merchandise accordingly. This segmentation involves either dividing the market into product categories, such as function or price, or dividing the customer base into target demographics, such as age, gender, education, or income level.


“The fact that you’re 18 to 35 years old with a college degree does not cause “you to buy a product,” Christensen says. “It may be correlated with the “decision, but it doesn’t cause it. We developed this idea because we wanted “to understand what causes us to buy a product, not what’s correlated with it. “We realized that the causal mechanism behind a purchase is, ‘Oh, I’ve got a “job to be done.’ And it turns out that it’s really effective in allowing a “company to build products that people want to buy.”

[…] there’s an important difference between determining a product’s function and its job. “Looking at the market from the function of a product really originates from your competitors or your own employees deciding what you need,” he says. “Whereas the jobs-to-be-done point of view causes you to crawl into the skin of your customer and go with her as she goes about her day, always asking the question as she does something: Why did she do it that way?”