Clay Christensen explains his ‘jobs to be done’ theory: When we buy a product, we’re hiring it to help us do a job

Knowing more and more about their customers through data is often taking businesses in the wrong direction, Clay Christensen, Taddy Hall, Karen Dillon and David S. Duncan write. With so much information about their customers, businesses tend to lose sight of what actually gets people to buy their products. Christensen’s “jobs to be done” theory helps explain what gets people to buy products and services: Customers are “hiring” a product to help them do a job, and if that product is good, they’re going to hire it again; if it does a bad job, that product will be “fired.” For a business to create products their customers want to buy, they need to understand the “job” customers are hiring for.

+ Earlier: Our Q&A with Clay Christensen on revisiting his disruption theory