Jobs To Be Done

Outcome-Driven Innovation (ODI) is a strategy and Innovation process developed by Anthony W. Ulwick (Anthony Ulwick). It is built around the theory that people buy products and services to get jobs done.[1] As people complete these jobs, they have certain measurable outcomes that they are attempting to achieve.[2] It links a company's value creation activities to customer-defined metrics. Ulwick found that previous innovation practices were ineffective because they were incomplete, overlapping, or unnecessary.[1] ODI attempts to identify important but poorly served, and unimportant but over-served, jobs and outcomes. ODI focuses on customer-desired outcome rather than demographic profile in order to segment markets and offer well-targeted products.[2] Ulwick was granted the first of twelve patents on the ODI process in 1999... Clayton Christensen credits Ulwick and Richard Pedi of Gage Foods with the way of thinking about market structure used in the chapter "What Products Will Customers Want to Buy?" in his Innovator's Solution and called "jobs to be done" or "outcomes that customers are seeking".[3]

very useful for Product Discovery

Standard story: discovering why people bought MilkShakes at McDonalds at BreakFast time. To improve the milkshake for the morning JTBD, McDonald’s moved the milkshake from behind the counter to the front. To help them not to be late for work, they also gave people a prepaid swipe card so they could just dash in, gas up, and go without being caught behind a line. They also made milkshakes thicker to take longer to suck them up, and so on. When McDonald’s understood that they were competing against bananas, the sales of the milkshakes increased by 7x.

  • Tony Ulwick: our own two decades of experience pioneering jobs-to-be-done thinking compel us to point out that his milkshake marketing example is fundamentally flawed. The flaws show just how hard it is to apply jobs-to-be-done thinking correctly and to launch successful innovations as a result... The end result of any market insight should be innovation, but to our knowledge, no restaurant or fast-food establishment has capitalized on Christensen’s insight and introduced a breakthrough breakfast milkshake that garnered skyrocketing sales. Why not? In our view, it is because both Christensen’s view of what the job-to-be-done is in this case and his starting point for the customer segmentation (market segment) analysis are incorrect.
  • Tony Ulwick: The Milkshake Marketing camp has yet to publish a case study in which they have proactively used their Job-to-be-Done methods to produce a successful result. Ironically, the recommendations coming from the famous milkshake marketing story were never even implemented. They were rejected by the client (see: Competing Against Luck, 2016), despite various stories to the contrary.

Ulwick's site:

Alan Klement:

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