It's more than just Milkshakes. Get the latest on Jobs-to-be-Done here.

30 Minutes With Ryan Singer on Jobs-to-be-Done

Chris Spiek // 05.15.13

ryan-picRyan Singer from 37signals joins Bob and Chris for this episode of Jobs-to-be-Done Radio!

Ryan shares some great stories about how he came to discover Jobs-to-be-Done, and a metaphor that he created to help explain the timeline to people who are new to JTBD.

He also shares stories about some of the jobs that Campfire gets hire to do by 37signals team members (small hires), which kicks off a great conversation about how situational context influences the communication mediums that we select at any given moment (phone, email, text message, Twitter, Facebook).

Show Notes & Links

Here is a list of items referenced in this episode:

Jobs-to-be-Done Radio

Click to view episode transcript.

Episode Transcript

Announcer: Welcome to the latest edition of Jobs to Be Done Radio, where
we discuss how to apply the Jobs to Be Done framework to understand why
consumers switch from one product to another and ultimately how to get more
customers to switch to your product. And here are your hosts.

Chris: Welcome back. So I’m Chris Spiek. I’m here as always with my
partner Bob Moesta.

Bob: Hey, Chris.

Chris: And today we’re also joined by a very special guest, Ryan
Singer from 37signals. How you doing, Ryan?

Ryan: Hey, guys.

Chris: So, I want to go through a few quick things we just announced
the next Switch Workshop will be coming up in New York City in
midtown Manhattan on Friday, May 17th. So if you’re interested
in attending and seeing a full day of live Jobs to be Done
interviews and really getting into how you apply what you hear
on the radio show, it’s a great thing to attend. Tickets usually
go pretty quickly, usually within a couple of days, so if you’re
thinking about attending hop onto JobstobeDone.org and you can
see the link there to go buy tickets.

I’m excited to be in New York; we’re going to be at DG in Midtown,
which is a great venue.

Bob: We get to see Ruffi; Matt Ruffi’s awesome.

Chris: One of our friends running the show over there, so that’ll be
good. The other thing I wanted to mention is we still have the
wine project going, so if you haven’t taken the survey around
the jobs that wine is hired to do hop onto JobstobeDone.org and do that.

Also, if you are a practitioner of Jobs to be Done and you want to
practice some interviews in the wine space we’ll set you up with
consumers that you can talk to about the stories of shopping and
buying.

So, rumor has it Ryan you might be joining us in New York; no
guarantees yet.

Ryan: I like how you’re putting a little extra pressure on me, there.

Chris: It’s out in the open now, Ryan.

Bob: If you can’t make it you can’t make it, I know. But I know you were
trying, at least that’s what I heard.

Ryan: It would be nice.

Bob: Okay.

Chris: Very cool. So we’ve got a lot we want to cover here today with
you. So, Ryan, I think where we’ll start is talk to us a little
bit about how you discovered Jobs to be Done and this whole
switching behavior thing.

Ryan: Well, I’ve been a fan of Clayton Christensen’s work for a long time.
And there’s this section, there’s a little bit of Jobs to be
Done in innovator solution.

Chris: Yeah.

Ryan: And eventually, oh, that’s what it was; it was Horace Dediu’s
Critical Path podcast. He had an interview with Bob on there,
and Bob gave all this detail behind the stories that Clay just
mentions briefly, and it was like opening the door into the
treasury, where there was like all these jewels where before
there was just something promising, like an interesting idea,
and then all of a sudden Bob was telling all these stories and
really digging into detail. And I was really fascinated by it.

When I was doing a lot of web design and starting to make software it
was around early 2000, and the term usability was becoming a big
trend at that time. It was like everything was about usability.
And I was 100% into that, but I always felt frustrated because
it’s like what does it mean. On the one hand it had something to
do with actually paying attention to the human side of things,
and at the same time it was just like, well, if your product was
good it was usable, and if it wasn’t good it wasn’t usable, and
it kind of wasn’t really differentiated from other dimensions of
performance.

And one of the things that I started to really hear in the stuff
about Jobs to be Done is that it’s possible to have a more
precise understanding of what a person is trying to do, and if
you look at things in terms of what people are trying to do,
then finally I felt like, I always knew that personas were BS,
but I never had a good way to argue them down. And I don’t
remember if it was in that podcast or later that Bob told the
example of what’s the persona that wants the pizza versus what’s
the persona that wants the expensive Italian restaurant. They’re
the same person on different nights. And then, how do they
choose; it’s not because of who they are, it’s because of what
they’re trying to accomplish. It’s because of the situation they
are in. It just started to open my mind.

And so, I’ve been really excited to work with you guys because it’s
like every time I feel lucky that we have the occasional dinner
and time with the drink together we get to dig into all this
stuff. And every time we talk I just have this feeling like
there’s so much stuff that you guys have thought through and
it’s really unique. And what I’ve been trying to do is digest it
and unpack it and figure out how to apply it as a set of really
clearly defined techniques.

Bob: Well I have to say I appreciate so much you taking the time when we
worked together to just slow us down. To be honest with you very
few people force us to slow down with, what do you mean by that,
and to be honest, I remember one time we were interviewing
people and you literally just like in a matter of a minute I did
like three different things, and you, what did you just do? I’m
like, I have no idea. And then slowing it down you actually
uncovered these little kind of interview techniques that I just
actually never even thought of before–that were techniques. So
it’s very cool, and we appreciate that. The relationship’s
awesome to be honest.

Ryan: It’s been really interesting because you guys have been doing these
Switch Workshops, and we’ve been helping to make it happen by
doing it in the space here at 37.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: It’s just so fascinating, because I’m seeing how the two of you get
up in front of the group and you kind of blow everybody’s mind
open. Because everybody’s so used to talking about the product,
what are the features of the product, what are the benefits of
the product, why is the product great? And you do this kind of
180 degree thing where it’s like, what does the world look like
through the eyes of the buyer, and that’s a huge mental shift.

The other thing that’s a big 180 is everybody is used to thinking in
terms of . . . how do you say it? Like, what does somebody want.
And when somebody says, what do you want, they ask it as if what
you want is timeless and forever.

Bob: Yeah.

Ryan: Like I was born with 20 wants and I just, this is what I want for my
life, right.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: And I always think about it from when Bob and me first met and you
told me that you have a background in electrical engineering, so
that you’re instinct is always to think in terms of like current
flowing–that it’s always flowing from point A to point B. And
this is the other big 180; people don’t just have a constant
desire, or attributes, but they actually are constantly changing
situations, and the changing situations that they are in gives
them different kinds of progress that they want to make.

So it’s like, I want the pizza because I had a hard day, and I want
to relax and kind of reward myself instead of cooking dinner.
Or, I want the fancy Italian dinner because I want to express my
gratitude or my love, or I want to impress, or whatever it might
be, that there’s always a process that’s going through time from
point A to point B where you’re based in a specific situation,
and you’re trying to get somewhere else.

So what I’m seeing is that you guys are blowing open everybody’s mind
with this kind of big reversal, and then getting into the
interview techniques. And then what I’m seeing is that you guys
are so much experience with doing the interviews, and this is
what Bob mentioned, that I’m trying to slow you down and say,
wait a minute. How did you get to that? How did you get that
answer out of there? How did you know what to ask? How did you
know that there was something missing in this story? And this
has been really interesting in these workshops lately to start
to get better at finding these things, and learning how to teach
those things.

Bob: Yeah. Well, you have a really good analogy. I think you and Chris
talked about it earlier today, was the domino factor, right.
Could you tell a little bit about what that is?

Ryan: Yeah, I mean, you guys have this, you talk about the timeline.

Bob: Yeah.

Ryan: And the timeline, a quick summary of the timeline is that people
don’t just wake up one morning and go the store because they had
a dream or something; or you don’t wake up with an empty whiskey
bottle in your hand at the front door, or something like that.
Maybe some people do.

Bob: I’ve got to say, sometimes we do.

Ryan: But this is not an explanation for how people end up buying things.
They go through some kind of process that unfolds through time,
and you guys have this timeline with a few kind of key events
that if somebody doesn’t have the first thought, if there’s not
some moment where somebody first gets the idea, the process
never kicks off. They might have the first thoughts, so let’s
say a friend gets a new car, and they think, oh, maybe I want a
new car.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: But then they forget about it again. But something happened that
kicked the whole thing off, and then now they have the idea so
whenever they’re on the road and they see a cool car they kind
of like, oh, maybe that. I like that. Oh, I wouldn’t have that.
But they’re not actually shopping; it’s just kind of floating
around in their mind a bit. And this could go on for a really
long time, and they might never make a purchase or do anything.
But something happens that kicks it into higher gear where let’s
say the car that was always just working fine, all of a sudden
they have to replace the transmission.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: And then it’s like, oh, maybe I really do want to get a new car. And
then they actually go to some dealerships, or they start getting
the consumer reports, or whatever; they start really actively
looking, turning it into a shopping project instead of just an
idle concern.

And then there comes a point where it’s time to decide, right, and
it’s possible you could get all the car books and go to the
dealers and still not do anything. There’s got to be something
happening, so maybe it’s your friends from out of town are going
to be visiting, and you would love to actually impress them with
a new car in your driveway. Wouldn’t that be nice? Right?

Bob: Yeah.

Ryan: And now you have time pressure, and then, ah, wouldn’t I love to have
that car before, what is it, May 15th or whatever. Right? And
then you make the decision, you buy the car, and what we get
into is how can we understand what actually drove the purchase,
and why did you buy it? So the interview uncovers that story,
but the real story is in these tipping moments. What is it that
pushed you over the edge? And this is where the domino metaphor
comes in, and if you just think of it like a timeline, it sounds
like something maybe a little bit lifeless or static; something
that somebody kind of goes through, like a timeline of a tadpole
turning into a frog, or whatever, like it just happens
naturally.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: And I was trying to explain it the other day and I thought of it like
dominoes where if the last domino fell that means that there had
to be four dominoes in front of it before it fell.

Bob: That’s right.

Ryan: And if the first domino doesn’t fall, the last one doesn’t fall
either. Each one of these things, you have to make it from one
step to the next and something has to keep pushing you or
pulling you through; there’s got to be some energy invested and
there’s got to be some pressures from the situation that really
makes it happen.

And I think this kind of imagining the one domino falling onto the
next is a nice way to think about what you guys always say
causality–that things don’t happen without a reason, which is
like such a fundamental truth. But we don’t really reflect on
it; we usually think that somebody’s attributes makes them do
something, like you like pizza, and therefore you buy pizza.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: But that’s not causal, that’s just attributes. It’s more like, what
pushed that domino over so that it hit the next one? And it’s a
moment in time; it happened on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. or, right?

Bob: Yeah.

Ryan: And this is something I’m trying to focus on because I’m finding that
when people do the interview process sometimes they don’t really
know what they’re trying to get out of the interview. They know
that it’s interesting, that everything coming from it is somehow
unexpected, and it’s giving them this fresh angle. But how do
you really know that you have the full story? You’ve got it when
you’ve got the first thought going from passive looking to
actively shopping to getting clearer about what is valuable to
you and what’s not, making a decision and then actually getting
into the store or clicking the button or whatever it is to
purchase. All these things have to actually happen at a certain
time.

Bob: Yep. It’s that causality. And again, you’re never going to get all of
it, but the notion is that to be honest we’re never really
looking for it in that way. So to me, getting 60%, 70%, 80% of
the causality helps you understand how to connect the dots,
especially if you have multiple interviews around the same kind
of thing. You realize that there are four or five different
triggers; there aren’t 100, and there are not . . . when people
are actively looking they’re doing maybe not all the same
things, but there are only four different patterns of how they
look. And so, it helps you now start to understand how to help
people to go through the process faster, or differently, or make
them shape it up sooner, or help them through that process.

Chris: I think it’s a good tool. I like what you said earlier, Ryan,
when we were talking around . . . I think we do a good job of
teaching people how to understand the tip of that last domino,
right. It’s like really explore the buying moment and get to the
cause of why they bought that exact product and that exact
moment as opposed to any other product, or any other moment,
probably more importantly. But I think the domino metaphor is
really useful when somebody who is actively in an interview, and
is trying to play back the story in their head really quickly to
say, do I have the whole thing.

I also think it’s useful post interview to say, let’s actually think
about these domino moments and let’s have a quick discussion
around what we think caused one of these to tip, to really
understand the cause. I think that’s a cool device that we can
use. That’s very cool.

Bob: So how does this help you design better software? What are you
getting out of these kinds of interviews, or this kind of
thinking that you haven’t had before or that has enabled you to
do something different in how you design the product?

Ryan: Well, if you look at most software out there, let’s say business
software, there’s a big tendency to throw everything in the
kitchen sink in. And you have a lot of software that does a ton
of stuff, with a ton of features everywhere, and it’s hard to
use it. It’s confusing, and it’s not focused. And whenever I see
a piece of software that has problems it’s usually because
there’s not a clear focus on what the purpose is, or what is
really most important about it. Let me give you an example. On
37signals we make Basecamp.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: And Basecamp is a project management tool. But what the heck is
project management? Project management could be anything. It
could be, let’s say, take Microsoft Project as an example;
you’re doing a complicated timelines, tracking dependencies of
tasks, and planning out maybe months and months into the future
with precision about when different phases are going to be
complete. Right? You’re like, controlling and managing and
planning a complicated process.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: That’s one kind of project management. Another kind of project
management is like, we need to have all of our materials in the
same place, like the designer and the customer researcher and
the programmer all need to have the same asset somewhere. And
then you get more into like a SharePoint type solution, or
Dropbox, where it’s all about putting material together into one
place.

And with Basecamp we always decided that communication was the
important thing; that we wanted to enable people to say, here’s
what’s new about the project, or here’s the new thing for
review, or what do you think about this, or what happens next, a
place to have conversations back and forth. And because we knew
that communication was the thing about project management that
was important to us it allowed us to keep the product really
focused and not get lost in, oh no, there’s a new, or somebody
made a new to-do manager, and teams are using it now. Is it
going to take over? Or, Dropbox has millions of users, do we
need to get nervous because Basecamp’s file sharing isn’t as
good.

The thing that really appeals to me about the Jobs to be Done
thinking is that different people value different things because
they’re trying to make progress in different ways; and what is
the kind of progress that we want to help them make?

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: And if we know that we really want to help people to communicate and
we’re not interested so much in helping them do like say long-
term planning, then that informs our product decisions so that
we can attack the problem that we want to attack instead of just
adding more and more features.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: There’s this thing that I see all the time, and this is kind of what
I wanted to say in the beginning, with the way that people
usually approach business software, especially if they’re
getting hired to do it on a client service basis. They’re so
afraid of doing the wrong thing, or they don’t know clearly what
is important, so they kind of cast a net where they don’t know
where the value is, so they build 100 features and then throw
those 100 features at the customer and hope that they stick onto
one of them.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: You know? And the question is, how do you figure out which of those
features is actually the important thing? And that’s where the
Jobs to be Done tools come in. One thing is that if we just talk
to the customer about what software they want, they want
everything because they don’t ever want to be lacking something.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: And they don’t really experience the development cost of having a lot
of features; to them software doesn’t have a mass or a dimension
really. The interface does, but people have this impression that
software could just have . . . there’s no end to the number of
things it could do because it’s kind of not so tangible, so it’s
hard to see. So if you ask customers, do you want this feature?
They’ll say yes. You ask, do you want this feature, too? And
they’ll say, of course. How about this one? Yes, sounds great.
Right?

Chris: That’s right. They never say no.

Ryan: Exactly, but then if you build all of that stuff, you’re over your
deadline because you built all the stuff you didn’t need to
build, they’re not even using it. And then on top of the fact
these features that they don’t use they compete for space and
for attention on the surfaces of the interface.

Bob: Right. That’s right.

Ryan: So you’re basically compromising the utility of the product in order
to hedge against the risks that you didn’t know what to build.
It really hits the fan in the user experience in the end,
because the interface is so cluttered with stuff because you
didn’t know what to focus on.

So the Jobs to be Done thing is like, instead of asking people what
they want, because they’re always going to tell you more things;
desire is endless.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: There’s no end; there’s simply no end; it’s bottomless. But if you
ask them about past situations where they struggled to address a
problem, then they’re going to tell you about what they tried.
And when they tell you what they tried that’s where they put
their energy in, because we all have a certain number of hours
in the day, and if we tried and tried and tried to get Microsoft
Project to work, or if we . . . And then we talk about how we
succeeded and how we failed, this reveals our real values from
the demand side.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: Because we put our energy into, we thought that there was a solution
there, and we thought that it fit our situation. So this is
where the interviews are relevant, because we get to dig into
what’s really important to people.

And then the other part that’s key is, okay, you’ve got the
interview; what do you actually do with it? And this is
something that I’m looking forward to hearing more from you guys
in terms of workshops and podcasts. It’s what you call
dimensionalizing, which is where we say, it doesn’t help me if
somebody says easy to use, because there’s never a time when
easy to use is a bad thing. Right?

Bob: Right.

Ryan: So, that doesn’t tell me, if I need to make a decision about what to
do, that doesn’t inform my decision, because the answer is
always just more, more, and more.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: But let’s say I’m working on Basecamp features set, and I need to
decide how important is private communication versus on the
record communication. Now this is a dimension where people can
actually show through their actions and through their decisions
whether they value that private communication or they’re really
“hiring the product” in order to share on a broader basis within
the team.

Bob: Yep.

Ryan: So, building up these dimensions of is private more important or is
public more important? When is one more important versus the
other? What about speed of response time versus a formality,
like I want to do 140 character message, because I can get a
quick status report versus I need to look good so I’m only going
to publish a 10-page report? You know, these are . . .

Bob: So to me, this is the notion of prototyping to learn, which is you
want to create really different effects, or you want to have the
spectrum of what people can do and enable them to say, yeah, I
would pick Twitter to do that, but I would never pick Twitter to
do this. Or I’d pick Twitter to do that, but I would never send
an email. Well, why wouldn’t you send an email? Well, because .
. . And so, most people are showing people prototypes that are
so like in a minutia of difference . . .

Ryan: They are totally the same.

Bob: They think they’re really different, but the consumer can’t
differentiate them, and what you find is that what you’re trying
to do is use those prototypes as a mirror to understand why they
wouldn’t . . . it’s the contrast to know why they wouldn’t pick
something that helps you understand what to pick. Because
sometimes they don’t know what to pick, but by telling you what
they wouldn’t pick it helps you actually build the contrast of
what’s there.

So it’s the negative side of the world, and so many people don’t go
to consumers with bad things because they’re afraid. And the
reality is the bad things actually help communicate what the
consumer means, because they can’t tell you what they want, but
they can tell you what they don’t want.

Chris: So, if we were to map, and I might even draw something up and
put this in the show notes, but like we would want to know, what
were the factors around a situation where they chose either
Twitter or email, and then, were they at home or were they at
the office. Were they on their computer or were they on their
phone? If we did a bunch of interviews could we build that
spectrum, and then could we build ranges around what they valued
about each one when they picked them.

So I pick Twitter because the text was short, and it was public. I
picked email because the text was long and it was private. It’s
like you can begin to pull out what you’re talking about, Ryan,
those design dimensions to say, okay, I see where the prototype
fits the situation. And knowing what I know about my product I
can start to design toward one of those situations.

Ryan: And the other thing that’s been really good for me is this quote
from, who was it, maybe one of you guys. “There are no new
jobs.” And this is really healthy when you work in the software
business, because everybody thinks it’s a new world every day,
and it’s not. And actually it’s not.

Chris: Yeah.

Ryan: Actually it’s not.

Bob: Think about it being additive.

Chris: The problem with software is that as much as people’s demands
are endless we think that their time is endless, so it’s like
you hear the whole free app story. It’s like people are going to
download and use it and it’s free, but we don’t have endless
time to just consume these things. Right? We’re not additive; we
have to stop doing something to start doing another thing.

Bob: So, we’re going to go see Clay in the next couple of weeks. Ryan,
when we’re there make sure that we ask Clay to talk about that
there are no new jobs. He has a great story around the chariot,
and communication.

Chris: Absolutely. He links it all the way out to kind of how email is
basically doing the same job that the chariot did. He’s thought
that through really well.

Ryan: It’s really healthy because you get so sucked into thinking that you
compete in a products category, but you don’t. You compete in a
job category, so like, Basecamp, if we only thought that we
competed with other software tools it’d be a total eco-chamber.
But we’re not competing with software tools in many cases,
instead of Basecamp, you’re going to hire a meeting, or you’re
going to hire a status phone call, or you’re going to hire a
WebEx or an IM, or Campfire chat. And it’s because you have
different jobs that come up in the course of doing a project,
where it’s like, I need a question answered, but I don’t know
who to ask.

Chris: Yep.

Ryan: So, how do you solve that? If you don’t have . . . we have this tool
called Campfire that is a little bit of a secret, because not
that many people use it compared to the scale of Basecamp. And
we wouldn’t be able to run our business without it. And I’ve
been thinking lately a lot about, why is it that it’s like that.
How come it’s still secret? Right? How come people haven’t
figured it out? So I’ve been trying to figure out when do we
hire Campfire and for what?

And I noticed that Campfire is kind of like a chat room where the
whole company is sitting in there. And we also have rooms for
everybody that’s on a project team. And if I have a question
about a product I could just go into Campfire and I don’t know
who has the answer, but I can say, anybody know what happened
with this change in the billing software? And whoever knows
could just pipe in. Now that job didn’t appear because I have
Campfire; I have that job not matter what.

Chris: Right.

Ryan: But what would I have used if I didn’t have Campfire? I would not
have gotten a response by email to that.

Chris: I don’t think I can let you off the hook on this, Ryan. Have
you interviewed your existing customer base? Have you gone and
done some interviews around it?

Ryan: No, I have not.

Bob: So we’ve actually been working with some clients around this and it
gets back to expert location. What you find is there are certain
people in the organization who know about those things, or they
know who knows. And so, what you find is you send an email or
you stop somebody in the hall and say, hey, whatever happened to
that? I don’t know, but you should talk to Joe, because Joe will
know. And so there are these people, so there’s this expert
location . . .

Ryan: So, totally, yeah. And you could hire basically that same thing; I’m
going to hire the network to solve this problem.

Chris: Yeah.

Ryan: And you could hire the network, but hiring the network is slower on
another dimension that you might care about. So one dimension of
a problem or the situation that defines a job is like, I don’t
know who to ask.

Chris: Right.

Ryan: I have a problem and I don’t know who to ask. But another dimension
is how urgent is it.

Bob: Right.

Ryan: And if it’s urgent I don’t have time to hire the network, because
then I have to do the whole telephone game versus if I have a
tool like Campfire I can outperform the network job candidate.

Chris: Wow.

Ryan: Because I can get an instant response. And this is the thing; one of
the things that’s really exciting to me about what I’ve been
learning from you guys is that having that vocabulary to
describe that.

Bob: Yeah, so we were at Bose a while ago and the interesting thing is
that they have a policy that competes with it my opinion. The
policy is there’s no food or drink allowed at your desk. And the
purpose is mainly to make sure that everybody goes to the
cafeteria, which then promotes the interaction with other people
about problems and what you’re doing and what you’re working on.
And so their whole thing is their policy actually promotes the
network. To me, Campfire competes with that policy.

Ryan: Totally. Yeah, with the policy itself, yeah, it does.

Bob: So that’s what I’m saying. Again, people don’t understand what you’re
really competing with in a place like Bose might not need a
Campfire, but somebody who doesn’t have that policy can either
hire the policy or they can implement Campfire. Right? So, it’s
very cool.

Chris: I’m glad you brought up the communication focus of Basecamp,
because I think when you throw something out there like, and
there are situations where Microsoft Project is good, right. But
when you throw something out there like Microsoft Project or you
throw out the complex project management solution, do you
realize that without that focus and without that understanding
of the situation that the users are in when they’re drawing upon
it, you need to be good at every feature and every thing in
every situation. Right?

So if you’re just competing at that bar you need to develop, like you
said, it’s a crowded space, and you’re competing against every
feature and you need to be . . . and really I think what we’ve
learned about software is that even with nearly unlimited
resources it’s impossible to be excellent at everything, if
you’re just going to lop feature after feature into a product.

Bob: But that get’s back to Clay’s whole point around disruption. Right?
You don’t even see the fact that a simpler, less performing
product can actually fit in the category, and so you become
blind and all you do is compete with everybody. So the pack
moves ahead and creates this whole void in the market for low
end simple disruption that’s very fragmented, that for the most
part the big companies can’t see. And so to me it gets back to
what we’ve been taught; that pursuit of profit that makes us go
up market that misses the opportunities that are at the low end
of the market that might not be as value added, but they might
be bigger.

Ryan: It’s tricky, too, because up market customer, they actually know very
precisely where they’re not satisfied by the current
performance.

Bob: That’s right.

Ryan: And the low end customer doesn’t know what’s not working for them,
because they haven’t struggled with it enough.

Bob: That’s right.

Ryan: Or the choices aren’t there; the choice side isn’t clearly defined.
So it’s so much easier to take a product up market because you
have customers who are already paying you who tell you exactly
what’s wrong.

Bob: Yep, love it; it’s dangerous. So if you’re up for it we’d love to
have you on again, and these are great. There aren’t many people
we can have these kinds of deep conversations with, so we
appreciate you coming on today.

Ryan: Guys, it’s always a blast.

Bob: Yeah, and we’ll see you with the second, but . . .

Chris: I hope to have you out in New York. Jason’s going to dial into
the Switch Conference in New York City on the 17th, and kind of
kick us off and talk about how Jobs and the Switching process
has impacted you guys at 37signals. But it would be great to
have you join in person as well. So we’ll see if that can
happen.

Ryan: And if folks haven’t seen my online they can follow me on Twitter at
RJS, and my blog is at FeltPresence.com where I talk quite a bit
about product design and try to apply these ideas.

Bob: I think one of the podcasts I want to do later is one that we talked
about the structure of work, because I just think it’s relevant
to jobs because at some point as you look at the work you’ve got
to see the problems and from the problems you know where the
technical issues are and how to use Jobs to help sequence work,
because it’s very good.

Chris: And once you get the fuel from the Jobs research how do you
actually move this forward and structure everything going
forward.

Ryan: Great blog.

Chris: Thanks for mentioning both those things, Ryan, and I’ll put
links in the show notes for everybody at JobstobeDone.org, so
they can get to your blog and actually that article that you
wrote about structuring the work, because that’s very important.

Ryan: Cool.

Chris: Thanks for being on, Ryan, talk to you soon.

Ryan: Thanks guys.

Bob: See you. Bye.