Have you ever commissioned a customer needs survey only to discover everyone looks roughly the same leaving you with nowhere to focus? This is surprisingly common and I wanted to share an easy solution using a well known clustering technique that can give you a much higher degree of confidence you’re building the right thing.

In Competing with Luck, Clayton Christensen gives two excellent insights:

  • Myth of the average customer: The US Air Force in the 1940s blamed pilot errors after 17 crashes in one day. …


In the movie Castaway, Tom Hank’s character gets stranded on an uninhabited island. In his lonely and mentally desperate state, he rather strangely hired a volleyball he named Wilson to get him through his ordeal. What was the job he was hiring the ball to do?

As part of my series on Jobs to be Done I’d like to explain what I believe is THE ultimate social job and show from experience how powerful it can be if we apply it to the functional jobs we build our products for.

The JOB of social

In 2012, I witnessed something I found extraordinary; this led…


Have you ever experienced this question before:

Hey Product Manager.. got a tasty new assignment for you. Oh and I need a suggested MVP and 1 year roadmap by Monday!

Ok, so the question is usually a little more polite than this, but it’s genuinely something you’ll face many times in your product career as other teams such as tech or marketing need to plan their resources and activities well ahead.

Let me share this hack I recently used when dealing with this exact request at the South East Asian super app Gojek that stitches together a few well-known frameworks…


The most fundamental and often trickiest part of JTBD is defining exactly what is the job you are help customers get done.

I’ll use a social payments product called PayMe from HSBC I created back in 2015 to try and help explain.

First, get an idea of the job you want to either help with or do..

I’ll assume you have an idea already to get stuck in, although will call out the two very different starting points:

  • Startup — If you are a startup founder, you would have already seen or felt a problem and can simply begin to…


Once you have derived your outcome statements from your in-depth customer interviews (I explained outcome statements in this blog), you will want to create a survey to get quantitative feedback to see which pain points are felt most by which segments.

It always take a bit of time to get a survey prepared and sometimes longer to get the results back. However once you get the results, some really juicy insights can jump out to take you closer to creating a winning product that solves a genuine problem.

I’ll continue with the example from the previous blog for the job…


One of the common questions I hear in the JTBD process is how to get to customer outcome statements from your in-depth interviews.

For me this really is the most critical stage of the whole framework and requires real discipline to remove any bias on current products or solutions they might use.

Here are some tips I’ve tried myself after reading various books and blogs. I hope you find them useful. It take a few goes, but I promise it does become easy if you stick with it and definitely worth the effort in the long term.

To help explain…

Adam D'arcy

A social entrepreneur working on alleviating poverty through tech innovation @gojek https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamdarcy/

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