Job To Be Done

One of the podcasts I listen to is hosted by Horace Dediu. He is an analyst and all around a really interesting person full of great discussions and observations revolving around “[Apple and the]…success and failure in the evolving story of mobile computing and related industries….” A frequent theme of the show is the discussion of what the job-to-be-done is of a specific item, tool, company, or corporation. The jobs-to-be-done comes from the Clay Christensen Institute and they have a great definition for what it means to discuss the “jobs-to-be-done framework.”

My favorite part about the jobs-to-be-done definition is in reference to how you hire a product when you purchase it. The transactional nature of hiring paints, in me, a beautiful picture. I can see myself walking into a grocery store looking to hire some eggs and take them home with me or looking to hire some new headphones because my old ones broke. As I look for new headphones, I go to my favorite review site and see who they suggest to hire. I read the user reviews on Amazon, the reviews and comparisons on my favorite site, and of course price compare across a few different e-retailers as well as a brick-and-mortar or two, if I can. When I make the ultimate decision on my headphones, I hire them. (This process is so different from a 21st century employer going to LinkedIn and vetting their applicants or googling their applicants.) 

I on the other have a job to be done as well. Not the job to be done because I am hired to do it, but the job to be done as I am intrinsically inspired to do. I must do the job I am inspired to do and do it well. I have a job to do because of the talents I have, skills I have, and the way I am designed. I am fortunate to have been hired to do this job not only in life but also for a career. I am so thankful my job-to-be-done is what I get to do every day. 

I have found the intersection of what I like to do and what the world needs from someone like me. The jobs-to-be-done framework inspires me to look at the world as a marketplace. The interactions between people, businesses, cars, technology, and nature. Looking at all of these parts I have watched them and observationally studied them. I have watched for the things that did not make sense. The things that did not quite fit together. The parts and pieces that did not quite belong and I began pushing at these pieces. Poking them. Questioning them. Analyzing how they work and trying to relate to them. The more I watched, analyzed, and related the more I began to see what in me has sprang up and became more excited about my observations. My observations began to show me who I am. My ability to relate to my observations cued me into what I breathes life into me. I noticed the things that mattered to me and helped me see how I fit into the world. 

What is your job-to-be-done? What parts of the world around you strike you as odd? How do you relate to these parts of the world?

Observing the odd,