When Coffee and Kale Compete

Summary: good book about JTBD. Bit of hating on other practitioners.


Become great at making products people will buy

This book will help you become better at creating and selling products that people will buy. Your joy at work will grow. You will know how to help companies increase profits, reduce waste, remain competitive, and make innovation far more predictable and profitable. In doing so, you will help economies prosper and help provide stable jobs for employees and the families who depend on them.

Focus on: – The desire every customer has to improve themselves – How customers imagine their life being better when they have the right solution

Challenges: – company turnover is quicker and quicker – ‘sunk costs’ keep us from creating new products – it’s a mistake to focus on our customers’ physical characteristics  – We don’t take into consideration how customers see competition – We myopically study and improve upon customers’ “need” and expectation of today; instead we should create new systems which help customers evolve – we should focus on what never changes for customers—that is, their their desire to evolve into a better version of themselves. When we focus on delivering customers’ progress—instead of what customers say they want— we are free to imagine a world where many needs and expectations have been replaced with new ones – We may think only about the upsides of product changes, ignore the downsides, and fail to embrace new ways of helping customers make progress – Our decision making can be misled when we manage by visible figures only – We must remember that data are only proxies for some results of a system. Moreover, the most important figures are unknown and unknowable

JTBD gives you a collection of principles for understanding why customers buy and use products. This singular attention to customer evolution—instead of what customers say they want, their demographics, or what they do—is what distinguishes JTBD from other theories. This book aims to explain Customer Jobs reliably, consistently, and completely

Part 1 – The Job to be Done 2. What is Customer Jobs (JTBD)?

The desire to evolve is in our DNA. It’s what makes us human. Moreover, we do this evolution with purpose.

The bear thinks only about what is. The human, on the other hand, thinks about what should be. The bear does not think about evolving himself and his world. He never has a Job to be Done. The human, on the other hand, does think about evolving herself. And every time she begins the process of evolving herself, she has a Job to be Done.

MY JTBD MAKES A NEW ME Charles Revson, founder of Revlon, perfectly encapsulates JTBD thinking when he said, “In the factory, we make cosmetics. In the drug store, we sell hope.”

JTBD is not found, nor created, its designed

A JOB TO BE DONE DEFINED – process: start, run, end – how a customer changes or wants to change

A Job to be Done is the process a consumer goes through whenever she evolves herself through buying and using a product. It begins when the customer becomes aware of the possibility to evolve. – It continues as along as the desired progress is sought. – It ends when the consumer realizes new capabilities and behaves differently, or abandons the idea of evolving.

PRODUCTS ENABLES CUSTOMERS TO GET A JOB DONE Progress can only happen when we attach and integrate new ideas and new products into our lives. – process, something customers participate in – upgrade your user, not your product – don’t build better cameras, build better photographers

WHAT ISN’T A JOB TO BE DONE – see it as an activity or task (e.g. listen to music) (better: stay motivated (through music) – there are not different types of Jobs (nope, they are all unique) – is it a customer job? does it describe a ‘new’ me or something else? (if you can visualise it in one action, it’s not a JTBD)  WHERE DOES JTBD THEORY COME FROM? – Joseph Schumpeter and creative destruction – Ackoff & Deming – system of profound knowledge – Louwenstein – anxieties of choice and action – Graybiel – customers fall back on their habits – Tversky & Kahneman – preference is context dependent – Klein – naturalistic decision making – Palmer, Moersta, Pedi – customers don’t want their product, they want help making their lives better – customer want progress

3. What Are the Principles of JTBD?

JTBD PRINCIPLES Customers don’t want your product or what it does; they want help making themselves better (i.e. they want to evolve, make progress) – Jobs were never intended to explain what the product must do. They stand for what the customer must do

People have Jobs; things don’t Competition is defined in the minds of the customers, and they use progress as their criteria – (actual versus ideal self)

When customers start using a solution for a JTBD, they stop using something else – JTBD is a zero-sum game (?)

Innovation opportunities exist when customers exhibit compensatory behaviours – e.g. Segway, Baking Soda

Solutions come and go, while Jobs stay largely the same – intrinsic desire to evolve ourselves – Queal: want to be productive, have food that helps them achieve this

Favour progress over outcomes and goals – don’t measure making a goal – measure the progress instead (become better at making goals in the future) – customers measure progress along the way (whilst using the product) – e.g. gym membership, losing along the way instead of the end goal (10kg)

Progress defines value; contrast reveals value – products have no value in and of themselves, they have value only when customers use them to make progress – e.g. pizza or steak for fancy dinner or children birthday party – contrast the progress against progress other products can deliver

Solutions for Jobs deliver value beyond the moment of use – a solution can provide functionality only in the moment, but its value to the customer is realised in contexts beyond that moment

Producers, consumers, solutions, and Jobs, should be thought of as parts of a system that work together to evolve markets – e.g. car (is system) – Weber understands it too (BBQ system)

Part II – Demand and Competition – understand how demand for a product is generated and customers view competition

4 Case Study: Dan and Clarity – JTBD interview to get a better insight into the customer (instead of giving the ‘right’ answers) – What other solutions did you try before deciding to use X – What did and didn’t you like about other solutions you had tried? – If you could no longer use X, what would you use instead?

– customer interviews learned him what customers valued, what they not valued and what pushes them to make a change – compare and contrast solutions they used before (find common thread) -e.g. people wanted advice from a person, so it was more about the connection and person than the answer (solution/pull?) and they wanted motivation to get out of a slump (push) – tagline: on-demand business advice (idea: always ready productivity) – silent competitor: anxiety (do nothing) – Dan and his team added some prep questions and guidelines to the e-mail templates they sent out to notify both parties of a call (for Queal: find the anxieties and take them away at different stages!) – Ask customers about what they’ve done, not just what they want. Confirm it if you can – Learn what kind of progress customers are seeking. What’s their emotional motivation (JTBD)? Use that to segment competition. – Ask yourself, “From which budget will my product take away money?” – Create better marketing material by speaking to your customers’ JTBD – Focus on delivering emotional progress (getting a Job Done). Don’t focus solely on functionality

5 Case Study: Anthony and Form Theatricals – theatre – studying what customers consider as competition helps you reveal what pushes them to change – contrast reveals value (ask about the pros and cons of the alternatives) – e.g. kids activities options: all are around making them independent – e.g. change play to include these activities in it – e.g. it’s about a shared experience (talking about the play afterwards) – think about what makes it easier/harder, faster/slower to purchase – also think about what features don’t help customers progress (new features should help, otherwise don’t make them)

6 Case Study: Morgan and YourGrocer – JTBD helps you convince others that an opportunity exists – JTBD helps you find the real customer (based on the JTBD/problem), not based on the demographic – find the struggling moment – e.g. for YourGrocer it was years in advance when they got their second child and couldn’t visit local grocers any more – question: What stood out to you about us? – What did you tell your friends about X? – Can you show me a message you sent your friends about us? – Example: changing grocery habits online (first delivery date, then shopping – just like in real life) – e.g. help customers become better meal planners, as a side-benefit they could offer to the customers – e.g. More about: My family having quality food, taking away the stress from grocery shopping, more family time, convenience Less about: Grocery shopping online / supermarket / local shop, supporting the local community – don’t depend on demographics (customers’ situation! determined why they bought) – demographics are only corollary data – know the difference between customers who switch because they are unhappy with your solution and those who switch because changing life circumstances prompt a redefinition of a process – create better advertising and promotional material by speaking to what customers value

7 The Forces of Progress – pushes, pulls, habits and anxieties – understanding these forces will make you better at communicating customer motivation within your organisation, understanding why customers are or are not attracted to your product, helping more customers buy your product, and creating advertising that connects with customers. – The forces of progress are the emotional forces that generate and shape customers’ demand for a product – two opposing groups of forces – push and pull (generate demand) – habit and anxiety (reduce demand)

– first two are most looked at, other two are just as important

UNPACKING DEMAND GENERATION – push: circumstances (internal/external) push customers to be unhappy with the way things are – external pushes: e.g. extra child (shorter time for grocery shopping), e.g. others have it (so you want it too) – internal pushes: e.g. Clarity customers wanted motivation – pull: for a better life, or a preference for a particular product – better life: to make progress, “How will customers evolve when they have the right solution?” (Clarity: customers who do nothing but know what to do) – towards a solution: (why one solution over the other), compare why one thing is better in what situation

– There is no demand – and therefore no JTBD – unless push and pull work together – e.g. I have no push for a car, and therefore I won’t buy a Tesla (which has great pulls) – e.g. Tesla generates demand, first with high-end, then mass market – e.g. Nano (Tata) failed because there where no pulls to buy it – If your product doesn’t help customers make progress, price doesn’t matter

UNPACKING DEMAND REDUCTION – anxiety: anticipatory emotions and anticipated emotions – anxiety-in-choice: unknowns, we don’t know if a product helps us get the Job Done – e.g. will a buss be on time? e.g. will Queal keep me satiated? (will the shipment be there in time?) – e.g. Clarity: will I sound stupid, how is the payment handled? – anxiety-in-use: aspects of product induce anxiety – e.g. will the bus be on time this time? e.g. will I look weird? – e.g. Clarity: how to prep for calls – habit: their current habits -in-choice and -in-use – habits-in-choice: forces that exist at the moment, prevent someone from switching – e.g. Excel and Lotus 1-2-3 -> import function in Excel – habits-in-use: how they use the current/old solution – e.g. shopping habits offline and don’t keep the (better) online habit (habit of not planning grocery shopping) – old habits blocking the (effective) use of YourGrocer – regression!!! (easier old habits) (but how to drop the old habits!!!) – help customers become better at planning – Queal: our app/dashboard to help them! (so also be proactive with it) – habits and anxieties are your silent competitors

PUT IT TO WORK – first study push and pull – mostly experienced outside a particular product – dig into habits and anxiety after identifying push and pull – fight anxiety and generate pull by helping customers visualise the progress they will make by using your products – e.g. show how you can be cool (and a good cook), don’t show the technology of the grill – Queal: how to best visualise progress (and on what dimensions!) – reduce anxiety-in-choice with trails, refunds, and discounts – identify any habits-in-use that keep customers from using your product. Adjust your product to help them along. – Queal: compare habits of best customers with the habits of those who recently quit – figure out how to turn switchers into loyal customers

8 Jobs Remain while Solutions Come and Go – the world is constantly changing, products have an expiry date – e.g. environmental concerns push people towards eco-friendly products – underlying motivations rarely changes, Jobs stay largely the same

APPLE DESTROYS ITS NUMBER ONE PRODUCT – iPhone over iPod – Apple began that development way ahead of a peak in sales of the iPod

NEW INNOVATIONS REPLACE OLD ONES – Joseph Schumpeter – Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy – creative destruction – we replace old with new products, but often also switch companies doing that! – e.g. Kodak (this is going faster and faster!) – 1) market dominance (lowest cost), 2) others find other solutions, 3) die (or reinvent) – creative destruction = new ways of doing things replace old ways of doing things – idea: Queal is competing against consumption in the supermarket! so don’t sell offline – be a better version of offline buying! (maybe with additional products) – JTBD of Queal: energy – competition = products that compete against each other by doing whatever solutions customers believe they can use to get a Job Done – don’t get stuck in making your product better (another solution will overtake it)

CREATE AND DESTROY. HIRE AND FIRE. – competition between innovations is zero sum (win & lose) – e.g. camera in smart phone instead of camera – hire a new product, fire an old product – Apple planned to have customers fire their iPods and hire an iPhone

PUT IT TO WORK – create a constancy of purpose to innovate for your organisation – pledge to solve a customer’s JTBD, not to sell more of what you already have – discover the customers’ JTBD by focusing on what doesn’t change – e.g. Amazon with easier commerce – focus on how customers wants to improve himself – before you make anything, have a clear picture in your mind of what customers will stop doing – what profits are going to go down, when my profits go up?

9 When You Define Competition Wrong – what if you keep selling the same product? (hmm, what about coca cola?)

TOO “KOOL” FOR SCHOOL? – product failed because it had no pulls (chotuKool for poor Indians) – it began with a solution, instead of a JTBD – it followed its own prejudices and discounted customer motivation

– idea: profit has to come from somewhere, so find the customers who spend the most time/money on food now and want our solution! (profit for customers and us!)

THE MAINFRAME VERSUS THE PC – mistakes: Limiting my definition of competition to products that look and function similarly. Not making sure a true desire for change was taking place, and that customers were willing—and able—to pay for a solution – A less common mistake—but just as dangerous—is to believe that products are competitors when they are not (hmmmm) – mainframes are a small part of IBMs business, but massively profitable! (today!) – mainframes and PCs have a very different JTBD – mainframes displaced human ‘computers’ – PCs competed against typewriters, boardgames – PCs were also not cheaper, but offered more value – Amazon Cloud etc are the real competition

– why the mistaken correlation? – correlation in physical appearance – a misunderstanding of how variation works

DON’T BE FOOLED BY RANDOMNESS – critique of: In Search of Excellence, Build to Last, Good to Great, The Innovators Dilemma – halo effect: good company is also good people? etc? – thinking fast and slow: these examples are simple and concrete, rather than abstract – watch out for cargo cult science (Feynman example) – JTBD frees us from recipe peddlers – it requires critical thinking and hard work – 1) what customers are struggling with, 2) how they imagine a better life, 3) what they do and don’t value in a solution

PUT IT TO WORK – don’t restrict competition to products with similar functionality or physical characteristics – coffee and a kale smoothie – “What are customers going to stop buying when they start buying our solution?” – Talk with your customers! – Confirm that competition exists between products by finding customers who switched – e.g. why people are buying fewer PC’s (is it smartphones? or just buying it with greater intervals) – Do you think you’re creating a new market? Think again. – Know what budget you’re taking away from – Continually refresh the competitive landscape with ongoing feedback from customers – what they count as competition is always changing! (shop idea: know what other products people will then not buy! online and offline) – remember that not every JTBD needs to be solved with a product that customers buy – the good-enough solution can provide enough value – some problems persist because they’re quite simply not worth solving

Part III The System of Progress

10 Case Study: Omar and Transcendent Endeavours (TE) – if a group of people isn’t struggling, if I cant feel the energy, then there’s probably no opportunity there – find the real struggle, then learn how customers imagine lives being better – e.g arm me with what I need to manage my interventions, so I can focus on helping my patients

– begin by identifying a struggle. Start wide, and get progressively narrow – Find innovation opportunities when customers exhibit compensatory behaviours

11 Case Study: Justin and Product People Club – JTBD differentiates emotional from functional – Jobs are emotional desires for self-betterment – e.g. if you buy coffee, you don’t only buy caffeinated water, also clearing head, feeling cool and creative hanging out there, ritual, part of community (self idea: actionables from books, with example and prompt to do something themselves – maybe send on Friday?!) (and with link to larger article/resource) – e.g. Product People Club as chatroom, 12 people, 10$ p/m (emotional motivation, solution) – then, ask people why they joined – studying past customer solutions tells you about the JTBD – think about the next struggle the customer will have (after solving the first) – PPC JTBD: help me overcome the isolation and stress of solopreneurship, so I can have the motivation to finish my product – innovation opportunities are found through looking for specific data – know the difference between a struggling customer and a merely inconvenienced customer – e.g. cheap airlines (they bring you from A-B, but are not nice, but are cheap) – great advertising comes from speaking to the customers’ struggling moment – digging deeper into customer motivation reveals innovation opportunities – you can deliver progress to your customers’ JTBD by offering a set of products that work together as a system

12 Case Study: Ash and Lean Stack – innovators sometimes build a product, that no one wants – be open to know in what unconventional ways people use your products – you may discover that your product is being used for very different Jobs – e.g. focus on core customer with core product, and then offer additional things to keep them coming (reduce churn) – these products work together as a system (Queal: products work together for all different moments of the day) – unlock your innovation creativity by asking, “What comes after?”

13 The System of Progress – JTBD is part of a system of progress

WHY STUDY SYSTEMS AND THE SYSTEM OF PROGRESS? – interdependence defines a system – the system of progress is a way to understand the interdependencies between customers, their JTBD, and the producer – if you understand it, make for the demand of today and tomorrow – a mediocre product that people know about, can buy, and use, will outperform the best that is not available, can’t buy, or can’t use

INTERDEPENDENCIES BETWEEN CUSTOMERS AND PRODUCERS  – the customer imagines a new me – understand the desire for change – what changed? why are they struggling now? what didn’t the previous solution offer? – the customer searchers for and chooses a solution – what trade-offs do they make here? – the customer uses a solution to start making progress – gather data about how customers use products/solutions – the customer realises a new me – gather more data

THE FORES OF PROGRESS THAT POWER THE SYSTEM OF PROGRESS – new aspirations are revealed when progress is made! – the system of progress allows customers to evolve – Lean Startup: ideas, build, product, measure, data, learn… – Deming’s PDSA cycle: Plan, Do, Study, Act – think of your business as delivering a combination of products that work together to forward the system of progress – e.g. iPhone and the App Store – What comes after and what comes before?

14 Innovation and the System of Progress THE CUSTOMER DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE SYSTEM – example: Spirit Airlines, cheap prices, bad service – Steve Jobs: a lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them – customers only know what the system tells them – doctors treat patients successfully because they understand that the pains and discomforts that patients express are not the problems; they represent the interaction with the body (system of progress) – the needs, wants, and desired outcomes change when the system changes – innovators must understand what the customer does and doesn’t know – not many needs, just 1 need of customer to make progress within the system they belong to – Customers can tell you of their struggles, how they expect life to be better, and how they interact with the products they use. But they cannot tell you what to do about it

– cascade effects can affect the system – e.g. Gravity movie satellites (also log-function, non-linear) – e.g. Kodak, e.g. smartphones – big things have small beginnings (impossible to predict – book: Deep Simplicity)

JTBD EMPOWERS US TO INNOVATE – Sometimes, success comes from continual improvement of existing high-margin products that serve the most demanding customers, such as IBM and the mainframe over the past seventy years. Or maybe you go the other way and create a feature-minimal product that offers rock-bottom prices and a terrible user experience, akin to what Spirit Airlines does.

(1) all customers want to make progress within the systems they belong to; (2) customers, producers, innovators, and products are all parts of a system; (3) understanding the system comes from studying the interdependencies between the parts, not from studying the parts; and (4) each system is complex and one of a kind, so solutions that improve them must also be one of a kind.

15 How Might We Describe a Customer Job? – It’s portable throughout an organisation. Everyone from marketing to design to engineering can use it. It helps them work together. – It’s a good balance between high and low levels. It’s abstract enough to give room for creativity while also offering boundaries where a product starts and stops.  – Free me from the stress I deal with when figuring out what products won’t harm my children so I can have more time to enjoy being a parent – The emphasis on a struggle for progress is why this JTBD model often makes use of phrases such as give me, help me, make the, take away, free me, or equip me

16 Get Started Today – get started today 🙂 – jtbd.info

17 Appendix: A Summary of JTBD

WHAT IS CUSTOMER JOBS (THE THEORY)? – A Job to be Done is a process: it starts, it runs, and it ends. The key difference, however, is that a JTBD describes how a customer changes or wishes to change. With this in mind, we define a JTBD as: – A Job to be Done is the process a consumer goes through whenever she evolves herself through buying and using a product. – It begins when the customer becomes aware of the possibility to evolve. – It continues as along as the desired progress is sought. – It ends when the consumer realises new capabilities and behaves differently, or abandons the idea of evolving.

WHAT ISN’T A CUSTOMER JOB? – If you are in doubt whether someone is describing a customer’s JTBD, ask these questions: – Does this describe an action? Can I visualize someone doing this? – If you answer yes to these questions, you’re probably describing a solution for a JTBD and not a JTBD itself. Remember, a JTBD is not a task, activity, or has any functional characteristic. It describes a customer’s desire to improve themselves—something that can neither be seen nor can described in terms of actions or functional qualities.

WHAT ABOUT DIFFERENT TYPES OF JOBS? – It is best to avoid coming up with different types of Jobs or stratifying them. Any attempt to do so will lead to logical inconsistencies and overlaps. – It’s best to keep it simple: each Job is a combination of various emotional forces.

WHAT ARE JTBD PRINCIPLES? – Customers don’t want your product or what it does; they want help making their lives better (i.e., they want progress). – People have Jobs; things don’t. – Competition is defined in the minds of customers, and they use progress as their criteria. – When customers start using a solution for a JTBD, they stop using something else. – Innovation opportunities exist when customers exhibit compensatory behaviours. – Solutions come and go, while Jobs stay largely the same. – Favour progress over outcomes and goals. – Progress defines value; contrast reveals value. – Solutions for Jobs deliver value beyond the moment of use. – Producers, consumers, solutions, and Jobs, should be thought of as parts of a system that work together to evolve markets