Job-to-be-done theory is part of's thinking framework for investigating . Rather than thinking in product categories and market segments, ask what is the job the customer is hiring this product to do?
A classic illustration of job-to-be-done thinking is Theodore Levitt's quip that people don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.
If you're a drill company, missing this distinction causes you to fixate on competing symmetrically with other drill manufacturers on specs — drill speed, power, cost, whatever. Meanwhile some other easier way of making quarter-inch holes can come along and blow you out of the water.
- Clay Christensen's Milkshake Marketing on HBS
- Understanding the Job - Clay Christensen (YouTube)
- Jobs-to-be-done — Clay Christensen (YouTube)