A startup must be in the business of disruptive innovation. Making a company that is only slightly better than the incumbent is a path to failure. In Eager Seller, Stony Buyers John Guernville describes the 9x problem.
In order to get users to change to a new solution, it must be 9 times better than how they solve the problem already. That means sustaining innovation — making a product better — is not sufficient to build a new business. It must be so radically different that users are willing to take on the pain and annoyance of changing products to get the new benefits
C Wodtke: Needfinding for disruptive innovation
I use What, So What, Now What to explain the user research process. It’s about going through three stages, one at a time, pausing to reflect and prioritise after each stage:
What happened? What did you notice? What facts or observations stood out?
- So What?
Why is that important? What patterns, conclusions or hypotheses are emerging?
- Now What?
What actions make sense?
Will Myddelton: What. so what, what now?
“In science, when human behavior enters the equation, things go nonlinear. That’s why Physics is easy and Sociology is hard.”
Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter
“Not everything valuable is measurable.”
“Quantification bias: The unconscious belief of valuing the measurable over the immeasurable”
The Jobs-to-Be-Done framework is a representations of user needs born out of qualitative user research, such as field studies, interviews, and discount usability testing. It involves identifying for which goals customers “hire” your product (and, ideally, also finding out if there are competitor products that these users are ready to “fire”). Armed with this understanding, a product team can think about the nature of the users’ core problems and needs from a fresh perspective, and devise product features that solve that main need as best as possible.
For example, if a traditional task analysis unearthed that delivery drivers frequently needed to print out directions that showed how to navigate between each stop on their daily route, it’s likely that the design team would focus on making it as easy as possible for the drivers to format and print the directions; however, a JTBD-focused approach would focus on the delivery driver’s “job” (that is, getting navigation guidance while driving), and would look for solutions to that problem (such as a GPS system providing voice guidance).
Oftentimes, we hear JTBD advocates referring to the famous Theodore Levitt quote, “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.” Rather than focusing on a list of features for a product, the JTBD framework forces designers to think about outcomes: would users be able to (happily and easily) complete the job they “hired” the product for? Does this solution provide a better outcome than existing ones?