re-framing the job

In the VFQ Foundations online course, we share a video by Clayton Christensen where he introduces the concept of a ‘job-to-be-done’. His story about milkshakes is now pretty well known and popular. It’s a great model for you if you’re looking at adding some innovation to a product or service you’re working on.

One example I’ve used over the years to explain how this concept may help re-frame a problem or solution is that of capturing memories. Consider how the job of capturing memories has changed over the years. You can think about how cave paintings were used to capture stories of the past in many cultures. You can consider how the great painting masters were commissioned to paint famous people in all their glory. Or you can think of some of the great statues that came about for the same reason. Today, we are inundated with pictures from smartphones that get converted into snappy videos on facebook or converted into beautiful albums directly from companies like Apple. I imagine, for a camera company it would be easy to get drawn into the trap of thinking about products, technical specs and features rather than what the technology would be used for.


If you’re looking for some inspiration, re-frame your work by describing the ‘job’ that your user is trying to do.

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