Competing Against Luck

Competing Against Luck

The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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The foremost authority on innovation and growth presents a path-breaking book every company needs to transform innovation from a game of chance to one in which they develop products and services customers not only want to buy, but are willing to pay premium prices for.

How do companies know how to grow? How can they create products that they are sure customers want to buy? Can innovation be more than a game of hit and miss? Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen has the answer. A generation ago, Christensen revolutionized business with his groundbreaking theory of disruptive innovation. Now, he goes further, offering powerful new insights.

After years of research, Christensen has come to one critical conclusion: our long held maxim--that understanding the customer is the crux of innovation--is wrong. Customers don't buy products or services; they "hire" them to do a job. Understanding customers does not drive innovation success, he argues. Understanding customer jobs does. The "Jobs to Be Done" approach can be seen in some of the world's most respected companies and fast-growing startups, including Amazon, Intuit, Uber, Airbnb, and Chobani yogurt, to name just a few. But this book is not about celebrating these successes--it's about predicting new ones.

Christensen contends that by understanding what causes customers to "hire" a product or service, any business can improve its innovation track record, creating products that customers not only want to hire, but that they'll pay premium prices to bring into their lives. Jobs theory offers new hope for growth to companies frustrated by their hit and miss efforts.

This book carefully lays down Christensen's provocative framework, providing a comprehensive explanation of the theory and why it is predictive, how to use it in the real world--and, most importantly, how not to squander the insights it provides.

Publisher: New York, NY : HarperBusiness, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780062435613
Branch Call Number: 658.4 Chr
Characteristics: xix, 262 pages ; 24 cm

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JLMason
Feb 27, 2017

Like most management books, this is about a Single Idea that is described in the first few chapters and then illustrated by examples in the rest of the book. The Single Idea is that innovation can be sparked by thinking about Jobs To Be Done: unresolved issues and unmet needs in consumers’ lives or in carrying out a business. The book is honest in stating that this approach is not a panacea, that identifying a Job To Be Done is harder than one might think, and that once the Job is identified the innovator must still devise a solution and execute it. One interesting point is that businesses that slice and dice Big Data to determine what products to sell to whom are not innovating and will not gain insight into what causes a consumer to choose a solution. An example missing in the book is how this might apply to non-profit and volunteer-based organizations.

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