It’s not enough to have a strong vision or a single great idea. To successfully innovate—in a way that doesn’t mimic every other competitor—you need to see the range of opportunities open to you.
A serious customer-centric view of the landscape will tell you what routes contain latent opportunities for you to exploit. It can also lead you away from uncomfortable pain points associated with current approaches and guide you through the pitfalls of getting customers to act in unfamiliar ways. Importantly, a true customer-centric approach will pinpoint the ways in which a new solution has to excel over existing offerings and lead you down the right paths to making money.
The Central Role Of Jobs To Be Done
All over the world, people go about their days getting things done. Much of what they do is aimed at satisfying a collection of short- and long-term objectives that they see as being related to their well-being. The many decisions that they make throughout the day—which toothpaste to use, whether to drink coffee or tea, what product to buy for their company—are all part of satisfying these objectives, as each person defines them.
But what if people know only part of what they want? Or—even more radical—what if they don’t really understand why they want what they want? While such confusion at first glance seems like a recipe for innovation disaster, it is precisely in this knowledge gap where opportunities for new growth exist. Throughout this section, we will answer such questions as: How can companies use this knowledge gap to attract new customers or launch new products? How can figuring out the known and unknown drivers of consumer behavior give companies an advantage in the marketplace? And if people themselves don’t know what they want or why they want it, how can someone else figure it out?