Instaread Summary, Analysis & Review of Clayton M. Christensen’s, Karen Dillon’s, Taddy Hall’s, & David S. Duncan’s Competing Against Luck The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice
Four out of five stars
Early in the summary, there is the core statement:
“The Jobs Theory maintains that successful products must answer an unsatisfied customer need and the producer must understand why the customer has this need.”
Shortly after this, the term “job” is used to refer to the utility that is derived from objects or services. This is articulated in key takeaway one:
“Business leaders must understand the job their product or service seeks to fill and, by doing so, learn why a consumer will hire or fire it.”
I found myself puzzled over this, when the Jobs Theory was first mentioned, I considered it a reference to Steve Jobs, the definition certainly fits Jobs’ style. Yet, once it was clear that the term “job” was used in such a broad manner, I considered it possible that the phrase “Jobs Theory” was just a capitalization of the generic use of the word “job.” After reading the summary, I still don’t know for certain, but the evidence indicates that it is the latter. A simple definition of the phrase “Jobs Theory” would have removed all doubt.
One of the major reasons that I reached this conclusion is key takeaway four. The takeaway is:
“A business cannot create new jobs for its products. Instead, success is based on discovering a job and creating a product that fits it.”
The first two sentences of the takeaway are:
“Jobs do not change over time. Solutions and products to fill these jobs, however, do change.”
That lack of clarity aside, this summary raises some significant points about how one breaks out of the morass and develops products that fill needs (jobs) that no one knew existed. In that aspect, the summary makes the book sound interesting.