This is part of an ongoing series of writing to our team at Stagetime.
“People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill. They want a quarter-inch hole!”
There aren’t many new needs in the world. Certainly wanting to advance your career by using the internet or keep in contact with colleagues to stay connected to community isn’t new.
Users are signing up and it’s our job to uncover why they are signing up. Not just ask them what they like or don’t like, but truly understand the motivations, pushes, pulls, and habits they have surrounding their needs. In other words, just building the best product doesn’t mean squat if we’re not solving for user’s needs.
The Job-To-Be-Done framework uncovers what causes people to hire products or services. Rather than understanding people by their demographic or socio-economic attributes, such as income or level of education, the framework focuses on satisfying needs by understanding the jobs people want to get done.
So, how do we think about product through the lens of the Jobs framework?
While there are hundreds of hours of interviews and research that goes into identifying the jobs. I’ll try to make it simple by using a method from Intercom. The basic idea is that we’ll break our jobs into a three part phrase that includes the situation, the motivation, and the expected outcome.
Here are our jobs:
When I want people to know what I’m doing, I want create an online presence, so I never miss an opportunity.
When I leave a gig [in transition], I want to keep in touch with a community, so I can understand what’s happening in my professional world.
You might notice what this isn’t… it’s not, “I want a profile with a large photo on top” or “I want to connect with people.”
There are many ways to solve for these jobs in product and when evaluating new feature requests these are the jobs we use to prioritize and build our roadmap and product strategy. It’s not perfect, but it allows for a better understanding of the motivation people have. It also gives us a new perspective on competition. If you use Youtube as a learning platform like I do, Youtube’s competitors are the public library or a blog—not other sites like Vimeo.
Since these aren’t new motivations for our users it means they have been solving for this need before Stagetime came and they’ll continue to solve for that need if they don’t find us. The good news, we’re building a tool that solves for the job they need done better than anything else they are using. It’s more specific to their needs, speaks to them better, and does it simpler and faster than anything else they are using. The bad news, habit is a tricky, tricky beast to overcome.