What is Jobs-to-be-Done?

Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) is best defined as a perspective — a powerful lens through which companies can observe markets, customer needs, competitors, and market segmentation differently, and in doing so, make their success at innovation far more predictable and profitable. Companies look at the world of innovation through this lens to accelerate their growth.
JTBD GUIDE
HOW TO INNOVATE AT THIS STEP IN THE JOB MAP

Uncover hidden opportunities. Get there first. Win every time.

Pursue big ideas. Get there first. Win every time.

Download your free copy of Tony Ulwick’s book Jobs-to-be-Done: Theory to Practice.

Download your free copy of Tony Ulwick’s book Jobs-to-be-Done: Theory to Practice.

FREE JTBD BOOK DOWNLOAD
FREE JTBD BOOK DOWNLOAD
Jobs to be done book - Anthony W. Ulwick

What is Jobs-to-be-Done Theory?

Jobs-to-be-Done Theory is a theory of innovation that is based on the economic principle that people buy products and services to get “jobs” done, i.e., to help them accomplish tasks, achieve goals and objectives, resolve and avoid problems, and to make progress in their lives.

The theory goes on to say that to create products and services that are likely to win in the marketplace, companies must make the customer’s job-to-be-done the unit of analysis, work to gain a deep understanding of the job, and then create offerings that will help people get their jobs done significantly better and/or more cheaply.

Making the job the unit of analysis, rather than the product or the customer, opens the door to new possibilities. While products come and go, the customer’s job-to-be-done remains stable over time, providing companies with a stable focal point for their value creation efforts.

Consider the job of listening to music on the go.

If cassette tape, CD, and MP3 manufacturers focused on the job instead of the technology, they may have avoided disruption. Maintaining market leadership means staying focused on helping people get more of the job done and help them get it done better and cheaper.

Listening to be music JTBD

With a focus on the job-to-be-done, the world looks different. A market becomes a group of people trying to get a job done. Customer needs become the measurable outcomes they are trying to achieve. A new language of innovation emerges — one that is helping companies take the randomness and risk out of their innovation initiatives.

DIVE DEEPER
DIVE DEEPER

The core tenets of JTBD Theory

JTBD Theory is comprised of a set of tenets, each of which reveals a unique aspect of the theory. Collectively, the tenets offer a foundation upon which an organization can reinvent its approach to marketing and innovation..

The nine tenets of JTBD Theory: building blocks for predictable growth.

01

People buy products and services to get a “job” done.

02

Jobs are functional — with emotional and social components.

03

A Job-to-be-Done is stable over time.

04

A Job-to-be-Done is solution agnostic.

05

Success comes from making the job the unit of analysis, rather than the product or the customer.

06

A deep understanding of the customer’s job makes marketing more effective — and innovation far more predictable.

07

People want products and services that will help them get a job done better and/or more cheaply.

08

People seek out products and services that enable them to get the entire job done on a single platform.

09