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Engagement in the Shopping Process

Chris Spiek // 05.12.12

This week’s show starts out with a discussion around the swell of recent media that the Jobs-to-be-Done framework has received.  We discuss the recent jobs-to-be-done Forbes article, as well as Clay’s guest appearance on the Critical Path radio show.

We also begin to explore the concept of engagement in the shopping process.  We attempt compare and contrast the shopping behaviors of consumers as they purchase various products with seemingly low engagement (margarin, laundry detergent) with their behaviors as they purchase products with high engagement (homes, cars).

Finally, we hand out our first ever Jobs-to-be-Done Award to this week’s winner, Hello Fax.  Listen in to hear about how the leadership team at Hello Fax has managed to zero in on a key job-to-be-done that exists in the document faxing market.

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Coming Up Next Week

We’ll continue our discussion on engagement, evaluate the pressure that Instagram is experiencing to move into the video space, and talk about Bob’s recent trip to France and the conversations he had around JTBD in the financial space.

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Episode Transcript

Chris: Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of Jobs-To-Be-Done Radio.
I’m Chris Spiek, with The Rewired Group, and I’m here with my partner, Bob

Bob: Hey.

Chris: Welcome back.

Bob: Yes, it’s good to be back. It’s been too long since we’ve had a radio

Chris: It is. We’ve been on hiatus. We’re back, we’ve made some changes. We
lost our host, so Doug Crets has moved on to bigger and better things. You
can keep up with him, and track what he’s doing on Twitter. That’s probably
the best way, follow Douglas Crets on Twitter. We’re going to take it solo
at this point, for a while, and see where things take us. We’ve got a lot
of good press recently. There’s been a lot of talk, just within the last
couple of days, especially. It seems like things have taken off around Jobs-
To-Be-Done. We had a great article hit Forbes yesterday, from one of the
people within the Jobs-To-Be-Done community, Jerry McLaughlin.

He wrote a great piece on the left turn that can come out of gathering deep
consumer insights. I’ll let you get into the details, but the basic premise
is, when you uncover the initial need of somebody who’s going to downsize
their home, a married couple, kids have graduated college, have moved out,
they look around, we’ve got way too much home than what we need. The entire
premise is, let’s make everything smaller. We won’t have to clean it, we
won’t have the yard to maintain, downsize, downsize, downsize, and then all
of a sudden, you come upon the insight that the dining room table is
essentially keeping them from moving, because one aspect of this product is
too small to fit the job that they need done. It creates a barrier for them
to move. The real insight is that you can go down a trajectory, you think
you’re doing everything right, but until you get that second of insight,
it’s going to keep you from having success.

Bob: Yep, and it gets back to the fact of what consumers say and what they
do, at some point, it’s not rational. What you need to be able to do is
understand it’s that predictably irrational part, where you need to be able
to understand how people are behaving, and take advantage of it. It’s not
about changing their behavior and making the dining room table more
rational. The insight came, really, at the time, I was VP of Sales and
Marketing at a builder, and we would literally go and talk to people. I
think we’ve maybe talked about this, but we talked to people once,
basically three families a week, and we did it for a year. We had almost
150 interviews, but you’d talk to people and say, “Tell me the story about
when you moved. Tell me when you had the first thought and you walked
through the whole thing, and then you’d realize that you had the push and
you had the pull, and you had the magnetism and all the different things,
but you found out -”

Chris: The product was designed correctly, right?

Bob: Yes, but it would be like, “Yes, but then we waited eighteen months,”
and you’d be like, “Well, why?” It’s like, “Well, we didn’t know where to
put the dining room table.” The first time, it was, “Yes, okay.” The second
time, you go, “Well, that’s interesting,” but the fourteenth or fifteenth
time you heard it, you realized that it was a very big barrier, and that
the fact is, is what we were doing is actually inhibiting people. By making
the second bedroom smaller and making the eating area large enough for them
to actually put their 70s chunky dining room table in, we improved the
sales almost 22%.

Chris: The real story behind it is that it’s the emotional bank account of
all the Thanksgivings, the birthdays, the kids growing up. You’re not going
to toss it over to Goodwill and let it go.

Bob: They’re not going to put it in the basement. It was literally too
small, and it’s the fact that no kid would take it. What people were saying
is, “Yes, as soon as my daughter could take the table, or as soon as my son
would take the table, or somebody in the family would take the table, we
moved.” It was a ridiculous notion, and you’re like, “Is that right?” Then,
when you did it, it was like, “Holy crap.”

Chris: I want to get back to the concept of being rational. One of our new
notions, new to us, is that the rationality is in the eye of the consumer.

Bob: The beholder, right.

Chris: As product designers, we want to say they won’t behave this way.
It’s a ridiculous notion to think that it would stop someone from moving,
especially when they’re walking through the model homes and saying, “Oh,
honey, this is perfect. We’re never going to entertain, we’re not not going
to have that many people over. The space is perfect for what we need, it
fits our lives perfectly,” and they walk out the door and you don’t see
them again for two months. You can look at those consumers and say,
“They’re acting completely irrationally.” But the reality is, is if you
have that mindset, it’s going to keep you from developing products that
people consume. We see this over and over again. You look at consumer
insight, you look at the videos of the interviews you do, you play
everything back and you say, “They can’t be behaving that way. It doesn’t
make any sense,” but if you have that mindset, you’re stuck.

Bob: Right. Well, and it’s about actually unpacking their rationality,
because, at some point, they are rationalizing it.

Chris: Sure. They might not be explicit.

Bob: That’s correct. Again, the real insight was is they kept saying they
wanted a smaller eating area. “I don’t want to have a big dining room, I
don’t want to have Christmas, I don’t want to make this big enough to have
Christmas.” As much as they would say, and we’d design it, based on what
they said, the reality is that we did it in such a way that it caused them
to have a fundamental conflict. It’s being able to understand that. There’s
countless examples like that that you find, that are just where, again,
people say one thing, and you find out the insight’s different. It breaks
things through. Part of it is, again, thinking about the jobs and
understanding the barriers that people have in place, that hold them back
from consuming. As much as they say they need to move, and as much as they
say they love their product, there’s no progress that’s made. You need to
be able to really analyze the situation, in terms of the forces of progress
model that we talked about in an earlier cast.

Chris: Sure. Go read the article. We’ve got a good resource on our site, If you go visit our homepage and click the Jobs-To-Be-
Done link at the top, you’ll see a page. We keep this up pretty intensely,
so anything new that hits the web around Jobs-To-Be-Done, we’ll add a link
there. It’ll have a link to Jerry’s article. Click on that, give it a read.
The other big thing was, yesterday, Horace Dediu, of The Critical Path, and
Asymco, had Clay Christensen on as a guest. They spent some time talking
about Clay’s new book that’s coming out.

Bob: Yes, which is “How Will You Measure Your Life?” He started with an HBR
article that he wrote a couple years ago. He and James Allworth have
basically put together a book on it, and it’s a great book. It’s one of
those things where it gives you a lot of perspective. It’s more personal
and it’s much more broader, but Clay having gone through a stroke and a
heart attack and cancer in a year really gave him some perspective on how
are you going to make your impact in this world. It’s a very, very
impactful book, so I recommend that one a lot, as well.

Chris: Yes, not only the new book, but also The Critical Path radio show,
and that episode, specifically, Clay does touch on his work in Jobs-To-Be-
Done. He has an upcoming book on the topic, talks a little bit about his
previous work with Bob, and creating the Jobs-To-Be-Done framework and what
they went through there.

Bob: Clay’s always a little bit optimistic.

Chris: He’s humble, yet optimistic.

Bob: As much Clay Christensen as you can get, I suggest anybody to spend
your time studying Clay. He’s a very, very smart and profound man, and has
some really good insights to help many, many businesses at different

Chris: And has helped us tremendously, throughout the creation of The
Rewired Group and all.

Bob: We’re excited, because we get to see him in August. We’ve got some
time in August with him, where we’re going to go see him with some of our
clients. We’ll actually do a Jobs-To-Be-Done radio with him on it,
hopefully, in August. that will be fun. We’re also trying to get Horace on,
and see if we can get Horace in, to talk about the jobs of his conference,
which will be fun.

Chris: Yes, I really want to explore the jobs that people are hiring for
Asymco for. We were lucky enough to have dinner with Ryan Singer, I think,
a couple days before he left for Amsterdam, to hit Asymco. From what I’ve
heard people say afterwards, it was a spectacular success.

Bob: I wish we could have gone.

Chris: I wish we could have gone, but the success part doesn’t matter. I
want to know what the job was. I want to know what they hired, going in,
and what the value was, coming out. There was value, but was it aligned?
What was it? I think that will be interesting to talk about.

Bob: What’s the topic today?

Chris: To wrap that up, The Critical Path radio show is also linked on that
Jobs-To-Be-Done page on The Rewired Group. If you want to find it, go to
iTunes or hit that page, and find everything there. One of the other news
items not really related to jobs, but loosely related, was the fact that
HelloFax, the HelloFax service, is now integrated with Google Drive. Google
Drive is Google’s new offering, which basically gives all your documents in
GoogleDocs a home. There’s an online Cloud storage in Google Docs. I think
HelloFax, don’t quote me on it, but was the first solution to take
advantage of integration, whether it’s through an API or some more formal
integration. As that hit TechMeme and TechCrunch and [inaudible 00:10:17] and all the news sources, I started reading about it, and it really
occurred to me that these guys have, whether they know it or not, really
leveraged the fundamentals of Jobs-To-Be-Done to position their product in
the market. The brief history of it is, is it was a couple of friends that
were sitting around, I guess, discussing their businesses, and talking
about how fax machines and the idea of faxing is just a terrible notion in
this day and age, and needs to go away.

Bob: Yes, to be honest, it brings lots of anxiety. “Yes, I need you to copy
and fax this over,” and I’m like, “Okay.” I get copies and it’s like, you
have a fax machine, and I ended up using eFax or something. It’s one of
those things where the whole process is so freaking cumbersome. It’s like,
“I need you to sign this and then fax it back.” It’s like, “Can’t I just
electronically sign it?”

Chris: Yes. They dedicated their lives to eliminating fax machines, and
what they’ve essentially done is, I want to say that most of their web
research led them down a path to say that consumers look at their fax
machines, say, “I hate the fax machine, I want the next version of the fax
machine.” The queries that they put into Google, and the products that they
end up searching for, it’s one of those things where it’s one step removed.
They’re searching for online fax, web fax, electronic fax, but the notion,
at least what these guys have figured out, is that when you drill down, the
real job is I want to be able to sign a document and send it to somebody.
of the technical attributes of a fax machine, being able to scan and send,
it has nothing to do with those technical attributes. It really has to do
with the outcome. It’s, “I need to sign a document, send it, and have
somebody receive it.”

Bob: But think about the history of the fax. The fax really started as,
“I’m going to produce a document or a letter, mail it to me.” Then it got
to, “Well, can you overnight it to me?” Then it got to, “Well, fax it to
me.” The fax was really a different distribution system, so it competed
with the mail system. Fax has really got to a way in which to get people
documents, before email. As you look at the jobs that the fax has overcome,
it competed with mail in the beginning, and then got cannibalized by email,
but it’s been reduced to that fundamental thing of, “The only thing I can’t
do is I can’t electronically sign. I need you to hand write a signature, I
need you to scan it.” The fax has really now become that authoritative,
whether it’s the IRS or whether it’s a bank, faxing has been the only way
to do it. Just earlier, I’d say, in the last four or five years, you’ve had
the real estate community get into e-signatures and things like that.For
the most part, the fax has gone through almost the whole life cycle of
competing with mail and doing many jobs, to literally being cannibalized by
next generation technology. It’s on its last leg.

Chris: Yes, it’s one of those interesting things – we hear the story time
and time again, where we had Lou Franco on, as a guest, and I think this
story parallels his in that, when you initially set out to create the
product, you’re always looking for the biggest market to go after. I want
to get this into the most hands as possible, because that’s units and
conversions and success. You end up trying to have broad appeal. What these
guys have stumbled on, at least as far as I can tell, is that they realize
the job is really signatures, and they have narrowed their focus to say,
“We’re going to call it a fax service. It’s called HelloFax, because we’ve
got to have the word in there. It’s what people are searching for, but we
really want to address the job of getting a signature from point A to point
B, because we fundamentally believe that’s that the consumer is after.” It
parallels Lou’s story of, “I started out real wide, as a PDF machine. I
narrowed it down to be an invoice generator.” It contradicts that mass-
market mentality, because, man, there’s not nearly as many people looking
for this niche product, but it turns out it’s what people fundamentally
have a job to do.

Bob: But as soon as the consumer makes the flip to realize, yes, the only
reason why I need the fax is I need to get my signature done. It’s there,
but part of it is that, again, they take the job and talk it to the
technology, which is the fax. It’s one of those things that it’ll be a
generational thing, that eventually it’ll go away, but the reality is is
that people will still say they want their fax machine. That’s why e-fax
behaves so much like a fax, and people still generate it, but again, it’s
not going after the job. Ultimately, you’re going to find people going, “I
don’t need a fax, I just want to sign.”

Chris: This like a marketing function, at this point, to create the
magnetism to the job, right? This is like reorienting people’s association
with words and brands and things like that. It’s like the slow tip, but
they’ll eventually create that magnetism to say, “Don’t even think about
the fax anymore.”

Bob: Right, but think about it. Think of the commercial. Somebody’s
standing at the fax machine, waiting for something, and then it’s now, all
of a sudden, I don’t have it. I’ve still got to have a phone number, I’ve
still got to type in a phone number, I’ve still got to get a contact, I’ve
still got to upload the document to it. It’s a virtual version of a fax,
and at some point, it seems like, do I really need to do all of this? Just
click here, type in the code. You’re verifying this is you, next.

Chris: These guys actually have your signature, so with your iPhone, you
write your signature on a piece of paper, you snap it with your iPhone, it
goes into the software, and then when somebody emails you the document, you
just click it, it puts your signature right on there, and you send it back.
It’s the most streamlined –

Bob: Right, and so it gets back to that fundamental of just to to test the
signature, but it gets back to two things. One is the candidates of what
consumers think about, when they have to do something. I need your
signature, and can you fax it back? Well, it’s usually fax, FedEx, scan,
whatever, and what you find is that, again, people aren’t good at all those
things. For the most part, people being mobile, who the hell has all the
equipment to do that? My thing is that, as long you set it up that way and
I can attach my signature to it, boom and I’m gone. It’s a very, very
powerful thing. I think those are the kinds of things where, and I say this
tongue in cheek, it’s like they stumbled upon it, but they didn’t. They
thought it through.

Chris: No, it’s methodical.

Bob: Right. They thought it through.

Chris: The reason I wanted to bring it up and I wanted to talk through it
is we always talk about how simple this stuff is. It’s simplicity on the
right side of complexity. You don’t need a million interviews, you don’t
need quantity and quality and all the things dissected and all your Excel
spreadsheets. In some instances, it will literally occur to you that they
don’t want the three-quarter inch drill bit, they want the three-quarter
inch hole. We can create that, and then create magnetism and pull people
over to it.

Bob: Right, and I can utilize, because I know they want the hole and not
the drill, the fact is if the hole, I can now look at multiple types of
technology and multiple ways in which to do it. It allows you to innovate
at a completely different level. We’re just talking about something we’re
working on I call the Idea Spec, and how to take jobs and the experiences
and put them together, to create a spec for an idea that’s technology-
independent, and almost featured benefit-independent.

Chris: Yes, that you can tie technologies to.

Bob: Then you can integrate and tie many different technologies through, so
we’re trying to push the limit on where we’re going with some of this
stuff. I do want to take a step back and just say, Chris made the comment
about simplicity on the right side of complexity. I’m not a big quote guy,
but the only quote I ever remember is one by Oliver Wendell Holmes, who’s a
Supreme Court Justice from the 1920’s or 1910, 15, somewhere in that range.
His is, is that, “I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity on the wrong side of
complexity, but I’d give my life for simplicity on the other side of
complexity.” I think that really highlights people like Steve Jobs, and
everybody’s who’s looking for simplicity, and it’s the struggle to make it
through the complexity, where you see too many people trying to simplify,
that it actually adds complexity, and it drives us crazy. It’s that kind of
work, where you struggle and wrestle with the fax and understand that the
fax is really about the signature and that, when you can get down to the
bare essence of something, and get there, all of a sudden now, you really
have something. To me, if we’re going to give a Jobs-To-Be-Done award, I
think the people at HelloFax should get one.

Chris: Oh, wow, new weekly award.

Bob: I like that. This week goes out to HelloFax.

Chris: The next thing I want to talk about is, we don’t have the right
words around it yet, but its a concept that we’ve been calling engagement.
It’s completely the wrong word, and this is something that you and I
haven’t spent a lot of time talking about, but I figured let’s do it free
form, on the radio show, and see what people add to it.

Bob: Please add to it. This is something we’ve been wrestling with quite a
while. When you really start to do a lot of ethnography and see how people
behave and get things down to basics, you realize language is just so
inadequate to describe some things.

Chris: Yes. The word engagement, I think the problem is that it has too
many interpretations, so we need to narrow it, but the real concept of what
we’re talking about is how people struggle and play out consumption in
their minds, and whether they are actually engaged in the purchase decision
in that struggle or not. We always use margarine and Tide as examples of
that. You’re pushing the cart down the aisle, you throw the margarine in.
Unless you’ve had a horrible experience, or you’re struggling on some
dimension, you’re not engaged in that purchase. You don’t need to play out
how you’re going to unwrap the margarine, how one margarine is better than
another. In most situations, you’re going to pull it in. We’ve actually
done some work recently, with bigger purchases, higher dollar purchases,
more complex purchase cycles, where we’ve dug into the shopping and buying
habits. We’ve found that either they’re not engaged, because somebody else
is making the decision, and they’re making a purchase, or they’re engaged
along the wrong dimension. As they play out the purchase and the actual
consumption of this product, they’re not playing it out, thinking about the
dimensions that should impact what they purchase.

Bob: Right. A good example of that is it’s almost like you’re buying
software, and you end up turning it over to a purchasing guy. The
purchasing guy is worried about installation and warranty and cost per
license and all the wrong dimensions and negotiating on those, and forcing
the software company to make trade-offs on all those dimensions. You
realize that the fact is, he’s just undermining the whole thing. It’s like,
is anybody going to use it? Is it really user-friendly enough? The whole
compliance mentality of I can get people to comply to it, as opposed to,
this is going to make the people who are doing the work with it, ten times

Chris: In the real estate side, as we talked about it a little bit earlier,
and I’ll come back to it, the people shopping were struggling or were
engaged in the process on the right dimensions, I’ll say. They were
thinking about all of the things that they should have been thinking about,
but the way that the product was sold and marketed was pushing the wrong
things. If they were thinking, “How far of a walk is it to the kid’s
school? How do I get rid of my home? How do I move? How do I pack up all of
my stuff?” they were engaged in those thoughts.

Bob: I’m telling you, it’s 1410 square feet.

Chris: Granite countertops, three car garage.

Bob: Right, I’ve got easy-tilt windows, I’ve got all these things, and it’s
like their whole aspect of making the decision, we call it show up and
throw up. They show up to the door and they throw up all this stuff that’s
not even relevant to them. They’re trying to get engaged, but they’re
literally speaking two different languages.

Chris: In a situation like that, when you actually conduct Jobs-To-Be-Done
research, you get a good understanding of how value is defined by the
consumer, I don’t want to say it’s easy, because it’s not, but you can do a
pretty effective job by just reorienting the pitch and the message to
consumers, and make some small product changes, and have a big impact. I
think Snickers and Milky Way is another decent example of that, right?
People, as they go through and they make that decision, whether consciously
or sub-consciously, are thinking about what this is actually going to do
for me, after I eat it. Either it’s going to indulge me and it’s going to
help me slow down, or it’s going to get me through a moment. We don’t think
in those words, but they’re engaged on the right dimensions, where they’re
playing out consumption in the mind correctly.

Bob: They’re thinking about candidates. They’re measuring the candidates
of, if I eat this, is this going to help me? They’re playing through that
whole consumption, and when it becomes so simple cause and effect, I feel
this and I eat Snickers, I feel this and I eat Snickers, it’s literally
there’s no engagement anymore, because it’s routinized behavior.

Chris: It’s habitual.

Bob: Right. We talk about that with John Palmer all the time, right, where
where talk about the fact that, if people have a routinized behavior,
they’re not innovating, and you can’t actually understand the jobs they’re
trying to get done, because they’re so satisfied with what they have that
they can’t articulate what it is. It’s only in the moment when people say,
“Yes, this isn’t good enough.” This where you, me, and John always have the
infinite argument about we need to create the light bulb out there, so they
can know something’s better, versus I’m always talking about, well, there’s
got to be a problem that people want to solve. If we talk about those two
dimensions, it’s really important. Engagement, I can get somebody engaged
by showing them something new and say, “Hey, look, this is what’s
possible.” “Oh my gosh, I didn’t even know that was possible.” You can
create engagement through magnetism. You can also create engagement by
articulating that what they’re accepting is a low standard, and they could
do something better. Engagement also comes up in education.

Chris: Yes. I think the interesting thing that we’re running into is that,
a lot of times, the products that consumers are purchasing have the ability
to perform a very specific or a function for them, that’s very valuable,
but the consumer has not been given the information that allows them to
play out consumption in their mind correctly, which is what we’re calling
engagement. One of the profound things that I think I heard you say last
week was, consumption always happens in the mind first. I don’t think we
think about that enough, is that before you buy the iPhone, you are
consuming it in your mind, because all you have is all the information
that’s been fed to you about it. All you can do before you swipe your
credit card is play the movie in your mind of this is what it’s going to be
like, getting my email, making a phone call, how it’s going to make my life
so much better. You have to imagine it and play the movie first, and then
make the purchase.

Bob: Right, and all we’re trying to do is make sure we’re clear on that
movie that they’re playing in their head, because we want to be in the
consideration set. Whether it delivers on it or not, it’s not a secondary
issue. It’s the quality issue. When you talk about what’s the quality of
the product, it’s how well does it meet the movie? The thing is that I buy,
not based on the value that I actually have at the end, it’s the value that
I perceive, going into a situation. To me, that’s the big crux, is
separating the difference between a going in situation and a looking back
situation, the perspective, I guess, or the going in perspective, versus a
looking back perspective.

Chris: The interesting thing that’s in front of us now, what we’re working
on, is one of those situations where people are struggling with price and
quantities and licenses and things like that, and not actually taking the
time to engage in a way that will say, “This is how this consumption will
play out.” They’re not playing the movie. Either they don’t have the right
information, they haven’t shopped in the right in the right way, but
they’re not able to play out that movie to say, “This is how it’s going to
get used, this is where it’s going to get stored.”

Bob: This is a classic use case. We’re talking about the situations where
somebody who’s a support function wants to buy some software, to help
people who are in the middle of doing the work and say, “I need them to
have this software, because it’ll help me, the finance guy, do my job
better,” and the people in the project are going, “No, I only do this to
help you, because it doesn’t help me do my work better.” If we can’t
actually get the people who are in the project to work differently and work
better, you’ll find that the fact is you’re going to have no consumption.
The finance guy wants consumption, wants to make progress, but the project
people don’t, because they feel they’re making it already.

Chris: At some point, the real crux of the issue is how do you design the
messaging or the sales system around getting people to think down the right
dimensions of value?

Bob: That’s right, and it gets back to talking to the guys that we were
talking to before, around, where yes, I have the VP of Sales
and the VP of IT, designing our interaction with, and
nobody’s talking to the sales guy, going, “How do I help make your life
better and easier?” because the executives want the data, but the reality
is, they’re making everybody work three times as hard. They’re not getting
the sales improvement that they want, because they’re literally not helping
to change the work that the salespeople do, and take stuff off their plate
and help them do something differently. This is the case of they’re looking
at consumption in the wrong perspective. Engagement really gets back to, I
think, partially who’s the ultimate or the primary consumer, who’s trying
to make the progress, and trying to basically differentiate to say, “I need
my project managers to make progress,” and then, “How do I satisfy the
requirements of the finance guy, as opposed to let the finance guy lead the

Chris: I’m thinking about it differently. I’m going back to margarine and
Tide, and I’m saying, if I have consumers that are thinking about
consumption along what I would consider the wrong values, if I have the
person shopping for the home, that’s thinking about granite counter-tops
and hardwood floors, thinking about those will never get them to buy the
right house or the house, or any house. How do I change that engagement to
a form of engagement that actually gets them to think through it

Bob: It’s relevancy. It’s about making it relevant. Everybody thinks about
moving as a positive thing. Most people move out of fear. It’s about making
it relevant and making that fear either more explicit or making the
betterment of their life more explicit. It’s relevancy. The way you
increase engagement is to make things more relevant, and relevant in the
moment of how they’re trying to make progress. Relevancy is the key.

Chris: Relevancy is the key. I hope you guys stuck with us through that.
It’s nebulous at this point. We’re trying this out, we’re trying to have
the actual conversations on the show, and see where it goes. On the next
episode, I do want to talk about how shopping and online decision engines
will factor into that, and how you can actually prompt people to think in a
different way.

Bob: One of the things we’re working on is, as Amazon is working on a
recommendation engine, based on what you searched and what you looked at,
it’s literally by looking through the rear-view mirror of everything you’ve
done that, based on that, you should want this.

But on those purchases that are less frequent and more specific,
situationally specific, how do you actually build a recommendation engine,
and let people give you enough information, so you can shape what they’re
trying to do?

We’re working on some of those things. I think the other thing I want to
talk about is, I was in France last week, talking about the finance
community, both the fund managers as well as investment advisors, and what
you find is that, I heard the best analogy, which is they actually build
products, fund managers, based on trying to go 900 miles an hour, going
forward in a car, where the windshield’s blacked out, and they’re driving,
using the rear-view mirror. When you really think about it, everybody’s
using the past to try to predict the data.

Chris: All historical data.

Bob: Part of it is, is that what Jobs is really trying to understand is
what are people reaching for, and why are they reaching for it, and it’s
trying to basically look at those mechanisms of change that people take. I
want to talk through that, too. If we could talk through those two things
next time, that would be great.

Chris: They’re not only talking about the historical data around how
markets have performed, but also historical data around what people have
purchased with regards to funds, and how people behaved.

Bob: When you’re this old, you should do this. What’s so interesting is
that they literally just take people, put them in a box, and say, “Here’s
the funds you should buy.” The thing in the UK is they’re changing their
whole requirements from the funds paying the advisors to the customer or
the investors paying the advisors. It’s very, very interesting.

Chris: I can’t wait to hear more about that. Thanks for tuning in. You can
follow me on Twitter, ChrisCBS, and you can follow Bob as well, at Bmoesta.
We’ll be back in a week.

Bob: Yes, thanks.