“God doesn’t create data for mankind. He’s done a lot of things for us, but data isn’t one of them.”

This is a great interview: Clayton Christensen: The Theory of Jobs To Be Done

Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“For me, this is a neat idea,” Christensen writes of the Theory of Jobs to Be Done. “When we buy a product, we essentially ‘hire’ something to get a job done. If it does the job well, when we are confronted with the same job, we hire that same product again. And if the product does a crummy job, we ‘fire’ it and look around for something else we might hire to solve the problem.”

“Every day stuff happens to us. Jobs arise in our lives that we need to get done. Some are little jobs, some are big ones. Some jobs surface unpredictably. Other times we know they’re coming. When we realize we have a job to do, we reach out and pull something into our lives to get the job done.”

“In writing the book, it occurred to me that God doesn’t create data for mankind. He’s done a lot of things for us, but data isn’t one of them. Every piece of data that we see is a tiny fraction of the phenomena of the theory it is trying to summarize. It doesn’t tell the whole story. People who create the data include in it the information that is salient to what they are trying to accomplish.”

“They exclude the data they think is irrelevant. Then you’re looking at the data, and you don’t know that it’s the wrong data. You don’t realize the data you’re seeing doesn’t have the substance needed to answer the (innovation) question you want answered.”

“You need to consider the circumstances when you’re understanding the job that needs to be done. If this idea of jobs to be done is such a great idea, why do so few companies actually organize themselves around it? I realized that managers have to respond to data, and so when I’m starting my company, I live in the context and I’m very observant about the context. But the context doesn’t have a voice. So it can’t scream out to me: “You don’t understand the context!” It’s passive and I have to observe it. That’s data.”

“If I become successful and the company starts to take off, all of a sudden I as a manager find myself with data swirling around me, and the data is about customers, competition, products, recalls, distribution problems, and I have to respond to that data even as the context doesn’t broadcast any data anymore. Very quickly companies can inadvertently define their business as: We make these products and we sell them to these customers with these attributes. And you lose connection with what causes customers to buy your products in the first place.”

“As managers, if we think there’s a job our organization needs to do, we don’t think very often about how people are getting this done now. People are accustomed to the workarounds. So you have to (ask people to) fire something in order for them to hire your product. But there are a lot of negative jobs, (jobs that make you think), “I don’t want to do this.””