Product Strategy and Innovation Blog

Bring Markets Into Perfect Focus by Defining Them Around the Customer’s Job-To-Be-Done


Companies often define the markets they serve around the technology in their product offerings… a technology that one day will become obsolete. Clearly, this is a mistake, but it’s one that has been repeated by hundreds of companies over the decades. Where are the companies that defined themselves around CDs? They spiraled to their death when MP3 technology came along. Many companies today find themselves in this same situation.
Define your markets around the customer’s job-to-be-done
A market, which is the target of everything a company does, should not be defined around … Read on

Who is Your Customer?


Before a company can become customer-centric, company managers must agree on exactly who the customer is. Gaining such agreement is not easy. When we ask company managers who their customer is, we typically hear, “We have many customers.” Often they add that customers include both “internal stakeholders and external customers.”

To further complicate matters, external customers are typically said to include influencers, decision makers, buying groups, end users, operators, installers, and others. In a medical device company, for example, external customers include the surgeon, patient, insurer, nurse, operating-room manager, and hospital … Read on

The Collaborative Economy and ODI


Call it the sharing economy or the collaborative economy — we are consuming differently now than we ever have. One of the fastest-growing economic models proves that many people increasingly prefer access over ownership — just look at the success of Airbnb and Uber. These rising stars notwithstanding, the collaborative economy is still in its infancy and untapped opportunities abound for insightful entrepreneurs. We have only begun to see the first fruits of the collaborative-economy harvest. But how can we distinguish the ideas that will become the next blockbuster, collaborative-economy … Read on

Blue Apron Gets the Job Done Right


Entering a new market is daunting. It’s not often that a first-generation product can get the entire “job” done–that’s a lot to tackle. But in narrowing the focus, what portion of the job should a company target? The answer lies in the job map. By mapping the job-to-be-done, you discover where customers struggle most and where your company can make the greatest impact.

Blue Apron is a start-up that has had success entering a new market. It addresses the job of “cooking a meal.” Its service chooses meals for its customers, … Read on

The Profit Share Strategy, Part 2: Profit Share Examples


In Part 1 I discussed how the profit share strategy works and why it puts companies in a very attractive financial position.

In Part 2, I’d like to show how some of today’s leading companies have earned their reputations by successfully executing the profit share strategy. Let’s first take the most obvious of the profit share examples: Apple. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Apple had just 11.7 percent of unit sales (market share) while securing a whopping 68% of the profits in the handheld market. In … Read on

Profit Share Strategy – Part 1


profit share

What strategy enables a company to enter an existing market, win over and keep customers, take the lion’s share of profits, turn the screws on the competition – and then eliminate it – thereby setting the stage for long-term growth? The answer is the profit share strategy. The profit share strategy works in markets that are highly underserved. It’s quite literally the opposite of the low-end disruption strategy made popular by Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen. Low-end disruption opened … Read on

Escaping the Commodity Trap Using Jobs-To-Be-Done Thinking, Part 3: The Building and Construction Industry


Avoiding Commodity Trap
Building and construction has become a commodity
For many years, producers of machinery like wheel loaders or excavators used in the building and construction industry have been trying to optimize their products by listening to the voice of the customer. But still the price of the product is the main purchasing criteria, forcing the producers to lower the prices again and again to compete in their markets. Jobs-to-be-done thinking helps to escape the commodity trap.
Product Management is challenged … Read on

Two Prerequisites for a Successful Innovation Management Strategy


innovation management strategyInnovation happens. In fact, it happens frequently enough to have resulted in the creation of tens of thousands of successful businesses. The problem is that most innovation management strategy happens randomly. It’s unpredictable. This is a problem especially for large, public companies that have an obligation to their stockholders to grow each year at a respectable and predictable rate. A company that is able to make innovation predictable would be able to promise stockholders reliable growth, … Read on

Tony Ulwick Presents at OpenCo


Strategyn recently participated in a new type of business conference called OpenCo. OpenCo is a mix between a business conference and an artist’s open studio with the vibe of a music festival. The event offers investors, marketers, job seekers, and curious neighbors direct access to the leaders of the most innovative companies across the globe and in their natural habitat. Host cities have been New York, London, and Detroit. San Francisco held the most recent conference in early October. Over 3600 attendees visited 135 different companies, making it … Read on

Escaping The Commodity Trap Using Jobs-To-Be-Done Thinking, Part 2: The Financial Services Industry


financial-services-commodity-trapFinancial services has become a commodity
In our recent blog we highlighted profit and growth challenges in the healthcare industry. This time we will focus on financial services. Like the healthcare industry, financial services companies face the challenges of profitability and growth while trying to cut cost and risk. From the customer perspective, financial products and services have become increasingly non-transparent, making it almost impossible for customers to find out if an offering is going to fit their … Read on

Older posts