Sunday, December 27, 2009

Clayton Christensen on jobs needing to get done

Some great and entertaining thoughts by Clayton Christensen in short sound bites presented at TechPoint's Innovation Summit on September 29, 2009.

"Very often why companies found that they have lost their ability to innovate, isn't that there aren't good ideas coming in, but it's the shaping process confirms everything to what the company is good at doing, instead of what fits the market needs"

"The idea that we should focus on understanding the customer and give the customer what she needs actually contributes to the failure of new innovations. The unit of analysis in coming up with great ideas are the jobs that are sitting out there needing to get done for which our products or services might get hired"

"I wonder what job people hire a milkshake to do for them..." " turns out that the competitor is not Burger King milkshakes but bananas, donuts, bagels, snickers bars and boredom"

Related videos:


  1. Many people don't seem to understand quite how radical Christensen's argument is. See the debate in the comments following my blog on Customer Orientation from earlier this year.

  2. I can't agree more: The bias and system of established organizations often destroy true innovation. This is why big corps will a) acquire, b) outsource innovation, or c) learn.

  3. Seems Christenson took out a lot of stuff from Ulwick on job based innovation. Strange enough, no acknowledgment. The concept of course is pretty much valid. The key is to structure the whole observation to get a clear idea of the job that needs to be fulfilled. In other words the process is key.