The Birth of Jobs to be Done Theory (Spring 2000)

Here’s a glimpse of when I introduced professor Clay Christensen to ODI and Jobs-to-be-Done Theory before it was called Jobs-to-be-Done. In the weeks leading up to the “Solving the Innovator’s Dilemma” event, I had met with Clay a number of times. I had the opportunity to show him our Outcome-Driven Innovation process and several examples of its […]

What is an Effective Innovation Process?

An effective innovation process must produce answers to the following questions: Who is the customer? What job is the customer trying to get done? What are the customer’s desired outcomes? Do segments of customers exist that have different unmet outcomes? What unmet outcomes exist in each segment? How well do competing products address the unmet […]

Why Ideas Don’t Solve Problems

The goal of innovation is straightforward: to come up with solutions that address unmet customer needs. Today’s most popular approaches to innovation fall into one of two types: those that begin with a focus on solutions (or ideas) and those that begin with a focus on customer needs. In what I call the “ideas-first” approach, […]

3 Reasons Why Idea-Driven Innovation Fails

Despite its popularity, academic support, and widespread use, the ideas-first approach to innovation cannot be counted on for predictable growth and is inherently doomed to failure. There are three reasons for this: First, generating more ideas does not meaningfully improve the probability that someone will come up with the optimal idea to satisfy unmet customer […]

Why do Innovation Projects Fail?

In order to accurately determine the success rate for traditional innovation processes we can examine reports from 12 different sources, including the Harvard Business Review, the consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, the professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Product Development Management Association (PDMA), the Corporate Strategy Board and others. Frost & Sullivan reported (i) that only one […]

“Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice” by Anthony Ulwick

“What is the value of Jobs-to-be-Done Theory and how do you put the theory into practice?” That’s a question we’ve been hearing for 25 years. Introducing:  JOBS TO BE DONE: Theory to Practice  (IDEA BITE PRESS, October 25, 2016). Why do so many innovation projects fail? What are the root causes of failure? How can they be […]