Creativity-Innovation Book Reflections

Creativity-Innovation Book Reflections

Competing against luck: The story of innovation and customer choice

By Clayton M. Christensen

Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon, and David S. Duncan

Jobs Vs. Needs

In the 1993 movie “Jurassic Park”, Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm had a quote that can add to job theory, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Theory of jobs to be done, or Job Theory, is all about asking the question what role or function the customer is looking to fill in a product and then how can the product tailored to fill that role or function. For a business owner or entrepreneur, looking to launch a new venture, job theory is a way to look at a void and evaluate if the product that they are offering the market will fill that void.

Too often products take a small obscure job and throw together a product that meets the job but doesn’t really deliver to the customer experience and quickly get fired for a product that does. Some of these products you see in stores with words “As seen on TV” on the label are so disposable that they are purchased once as a gimmick or fad. These kinds of products do not last in the market with out some one making the product better for the user.

Another issue is the confusion of a job versus a need in the marketplace. As consumers we have needs that must be address but that does not clarify the job to be done. We all need to drink, or we will die, but the job is more than staying alive.

Christensen, C., Hall, T., Dillon, K. and Duncan, D. (2016). Competing against luck. New York: HarperBusiness.

One thought on “Creativity-Innovation Book Reflections

  1. Hi Dustin,
    Another interesting post. I hope the author gets around to talking how we can determine if the product we have is meeting the job the customer thinks it has. I guess there is market research but that seems expensive for a small start up to do. Also good point on products that are disposable, I hate the waste that these kinds of products create when they break, or don’t function correctly.


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