Read the full article on Harvard Business Review.
“We all have many jobs to be done in our lives. Some are little (pass the time while waiting in line); some are big (find a more fulfilling career). Some surface unpredictably (dress for an out-of-town business meeting after the airline lost my suitcase); some regularly (pack a healthful lunch for my daughter to take to school). When we buy a product, we essentially “hire” it to help us do a job. If it does the job well, the next time we’re confronted with the same job, we tend to hire that product again. And if it does a crummy job, we “fire” it and look for an alternative. (We’re using the word “product” here as shorthand for any solution that companies can sell; of course, the full set of “candidates” we consider hiring can often go well beyond just offerings from companies.)
This insight emerged over the past two decades in a course taught by Clay at Harvard Business School. (See “Marketing Malpractice,” HBR, December 2005.) The theory of jobs to be done was developed in part as a complement to the theory of disruptive innovation—which at its core is about competitive responses to innovation: It explains and predicts the behavior of companies in danger of being disrupted and helps them understand which new entrants pose the greatest threats.”