Jobs theory

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I learned about jobs theory through the Jobs to be done framework. The idea is to identify each of the tasks that our users are performing "the jobs" even if they are not obvious. It also makes it explicit the sometimes there's more than one person involved in the job, even if not explicitly.

I have seen a quote (although I am not confident I like it) that says: "your product is hired to do a job".

For example, a coffee machine performs more than one job. It definitely makes coffee, perhaps grinds the beans. But it is also a very visible element of the kitchen. It provides status if we have an expensive brand, and it serves as decoration.

Interestingly, perhaps the jobs the machine is doing belong to different people in the household. The coffee drinker may not care that much about appearances but yes about status, etc.

For science-based startups, it is crucial to identify all the actors involved. The PhD or technician perform very different jobs around an instrument than the professor. Still, all these jobs are related together.

Using jobs theory is a great approach to mapping users when doing feature selection for a minimum viable product. There is something that is missing often, which is the emotional jobs component, as can be seen in the case of automated western blots.

Jobs theory around scientific products is not always done, but it can hold great potential at identifying opportunities.


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Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
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