Job Definition: Mall vs. Social Media

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18 Sep 2020

Since solutions for JTBD don’t fit into a product category, the structure of a job definition helps to see why people bring solutions into their lives. One example is that social media competes with—really, has basically replaced—“the mall” as a way for youth to gather and connect.

Roll back the clock a few decades and you’d see lots of parents dropping their kids at the mall, where the kids would meet up with their friends. But they weren’t at the shopping center to shop. Using the job definition, we’d come up with roughly:

When I am bored at home, I hire the mall, So I can eliminate boredom and connect with my friends.

Currently, social media and various other technological solutions fit in the “I hire” spot. Instead of hiring the mall to eliminate boredom and connect with friends, teenagers tend use Snapchat, Instagram and Tik Tok.

When I am bored at home, I hire social media, So I can eliminate boredom and connect with my friends.

Of course, there are other things that teenagers hire(d) for this JTBD, but for purposes of this example, what’s important to note is (1) that the structure of a job definition can help to frame a job in a way that’s not product-dependent and (2) that the structure can help to structure our thinking in a way that helps us to identify true Jobs to be Done.

Job Definition: Mall vs. Social Media and our other posts are constructed based on the principles we teach in our live, online Innovation Science Bootcamp.

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