The Product Person #36: JTBD

hi, Anthony here! Every week, I find articles and posts around the web about product development and how to build great products. Then I summarize and share them here.

Let’s get to it!


Every 60 minutes

JTBD (jobs-to-be-done) is a framework used to make sure you’re building the right product.

Every 60 minutes, a product is created that nobody wants.

(Not a real stat but sounds about right)

I’ve been guilty of it. It’s a delicious trap: You want to build a thing, so you think of a thing to build, then you build that thing.

Three common problems

Three common problems that show you might need to use the JTBD framework.

  1. You’re relying too much on your own “vision”

  2. You’re more excited about building product than helping users

  3. You can’t easily describe the value prop

The idea

“People don't want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!” says Harvard Business School professor Theodore Levitt.

“People don’t simply buy products or services, they ‘hire’ them to make progress in specific circumstances,” says another HBS professor, Clayton Christensen.

The premise is this:

People want to complete certain “jobs.”

Ex: Investing in stocks, buying groceries, getting to work on time

Then people “hire” products or services to help them accomplish those jobs.

Ex: Robinhood, Instacart, Uber

People can “fire” products too.

Remember This

  1. Jobs ≠ your goals, vision, mission

  2. Jobs ≠ business objectives

  3. Jobs ≠ product features

  4. Jobs = underlying human needs

  5. Jobs reveal insights on underlying motivations and struggles

Understand what your audience wants to do. Understand what’s preventing them from getting there. Understand what they’re currently using to try to get there. And what they’ve used in the past.

🤔 Where are you making poor assumptions on what your users want?
🤔 Will you apply JTBD to what you’re working on today?


🔗 You can find the full article here.


Good Tweet

Sometimes, I get anxious at how much I could’ve done had X not happened or if Y had happened.

I have to remember to just focus on the future and get the ball rolling now.


End Note

Thanks for enjoying The Product Person. I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two. If this was shared to you, you can subscribe here.

❤️ Hit the heart button as well, it helps a lot.

Have a great day,
Anthony