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What is Jobs to be Done?

Written by Justin on October 5, 2016

Everyone is talking about Jobs to be Done lately. Companies like Intercom and Basecamp have made big bets on JTBD and made it a part of their product development process.

But what is it?

Here’s my definition:

Jobs to be Done is a framework for understanding what motivates customers to buy (hire) your product. In the same way a boss hires an employee to make their business better, customers hire products to make their lives better.

Here’s Alan Klement’s definition:

Jobs to be Done is a collection of principles that help us understand customer motivation.

Alan is the author of a new book on Jobs to be Done. I made a cartoon of our last video hangout:

Contrary to what you might think, a Job to be Done isn’t functional. It’s not about getting a drill so you can drill a 3/4″ hole.

Jobs are emotional. You’re drilling the hole because you want to make progress in your life. You saw a picture in a magazine of a cool print. You bought the print. You got it framed. And now you need to drill a hole so you can hang it.

I still have lots to learn about Jobs. I’m interviewing Alan Klement again today, Oct 5, 2016. You can watch live here from 10am Pacific – 11am Pacific.

Customers have decision fatigue.

They're tired. They don't want more information.

They just want to know how you'll make their life better

— Justin Jackson (@mijustin) October 5, 2016

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