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A New Catalog of Jobs to be Done Interviews

Chris Spiek

Every week people ask me how they can get better at interviewing using the Jobs-to-be-Done method and how they can do a better job applying Jobs to be Done to their business.

I’m hoping to develop a new way to answer by building a catalog of interviews that you can watch, study, and use to improve your own technique.

I’m conducting interviews across a wide variety of products, and I’m sharing out the entire process, from recruiting, to pre-interview prep, to my thoughts about the insights coming out of each conversation.

The first in the series is an interview with Roxana about how she decided to book her first stay on Airbnb. You’ll enjoy how openly she shares all aspects of the experience. From the first spark of an idea that she wants to visit Budapest, through the dark alleyway that she endures as she figures out how to access her apartment at midnight for the first time, and the product opportunities that come from the interview.

You can see the rest of the collection of interviews here. I hope they help you learn and apply Jobs to be Done to your product and your business!

Seedling idea to public launch: using JTBD end-to-end to plan, develop, & market a new feature. Part 2

Chris Spiek

This is the second part of a series of episodes where we’ll explore an end-to-end product development effort at Autobooks.

In the first part of this series we discuss how we used Jobs-to-be-Done to arrive at the insight that led to the creation of a new feature inside Autobooks.

Listen to this episode to hear Claire explain the tools that she uses to turn the Jobs insights into compelling copy and content that motivated shoppers to sign up for Autobooks and try the feature.

“People read this email that Claire wrote and they can’t control themselves …”

Use the visuals below to follow along as you listen to the tools that Claire describes.

Voice of the Customer

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Seedling idea to public launch: using JTBD end-to-end to plan, develop, & market a new feature. Part 1

Chris Spiek

This is the first part of a series of episodes where we’ll explore an end-to-end product development effort at Autobooks. At Autobooks we’re working hard to discover and build solutions for the struggles that small business owners face as they try to get paid, send invoices, and keep track of everything. You’ll follow the team as we discuss:

  1. Framing the project and deciding where to start.
  2. Talking with consumers about why they switched and their satisfaction.
  3. Unpacking the raw Jobs-to-be-Done interviews into an insight and high-level concept of what we might build.
  4. Shaping that concept into a story that we could socialize inside Autobooks and pressure-test with our payments and accounting subject matter experts.
  5. Developing and iterating on the concept.
  6. Shipping the new feature.
  7. Promoting it with effective copy and content.

In part one Claire Suellentrop and I discuss framing the project, interviewing consumers, unpacking the insights, and deciding what to build.

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Can an Innovation Get You Into Heaven? Bob Moesta and Brian Walker talk Jobs-to-be-Done

Chris Spiek

Bob Moesta recently appeared on the”Brand Labs Series Podcast”, hosted by Brian Walker and Natalie Pyles. On the show Bob gave an overview and background of the Jobs to be Done Framework and used it to explain how people shop and why people buy.  You might remember Brian as the Mattress Interview Guy who was interviewed by Bob and I at a Switch Workshop at Basecamp’s Headquarters in Chicago.  The Mattress Interview was featured on JTBD Radio and was later immortalized in Clayton Christensen’s book Competing Against Luck.

Below you will find:

  • A full overview of Bob’s appearance on the “Brand Labs Series Podcast”.
  • Some quotables from Bob.
  • Show Notes:  (with a link to the podcast on Brian’s blog)
  • A full transcript of the interview.


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Live Jobs-to-be-Done Interview: Eva’s Camera Purchase

Chris Spiek

Interviewing a consumer or decision-maker about a purchase that they’ve made is one step involved in uncovering Jobs-to-be-Done insights (if you’re new to the framework, check out this video on jobs-to-be-done basics).

We ask some strange questions when we interview.

To people overhearing the conversation the questions can sound way out-of-line or uncomfortable.

To the person being interviewed the questions are straight-forward but require thinking, focus, and memory recall to answer.

The questions have a specific purpose though: understand the causal factors that led up to the purchase, so we can use that information to make products that people want to buy.

When product people start learning Jobs-to-be-Done and first hear an interview conducted, their first question is, “why are you asking about those things,” and after hearing the explanation, “how can I learn how to ask similar questions?”
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Adding Jobs-to-be-Done to a Persona-Based Product Development Process

Chris Spiek

In this episode we dive into the sometimes controversial topic of how Jobs-to-be-Done and Personas complement or contradict each other with Claire Menke, the Senior Manager of UX Research at Udemy.

Claire has deep experience with both frameworks, and after conducting a JTBD project and identifying the Jobs that users were hiring one of Udemy’s products to do, she worked hard to reconcile the newly uncovered Jobs-to-be-Done with the Personas that had been created and refined at Udemy over the years.

Enjoy the episode!

UPDATE:  Soon after the launch of this podcast episode, Claire wrote an in-depth article on Medium about how she combines Jobs-to-be-Done, Personas, and Customer Journey Maps to create a mix of insights that fuel different functions of Udemy. It’s definitely worth the read.

Udemy and Re-Wired Analyzing Findings After Conducting Interviews

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Jason Fried on Using JTBD at Basecamp

Chris Spiek


For more than 15 years, Jason Fried has helped individuals and teams improve their collaboration, productivity and the nature of their work.

Jason is the co-founder and CEO at Basecamp, a “… saner, calmer, more organized way to manage projects and communicate company-wide.” Basecamp is known for bootstrapping their company (except for letting Jeff Bezos buy a small part in 2006) and having an incredibly profitable, small and very remote team. You’ve likely read one of Jason’s many essays at Signal v. Noise, his three best-selling books – Getting Real, Rework and Remote or watched his TED Talk. Each chronicles smarter ways for individuals and teams to work.

We caught up with Jason to discuss what Jason learned from interviewing Basecamp customers, why it’s important to refine your customers’ language during interviews his passion for sharing the framework with others.

If you like what you hear, check out more episodes of JTBD Radio: You can subscribe on iTunes or grab the RSS feed.

Below you will find a lightly edited and condensed transcript of the episode. Don’t have much time? Here are a few quick takeaways:



  1. Jason worked with Bob and Chris of The Re-Wired Group and used JTBD to “figure out why people hire Basecamp”. These interviews were very different than how Basecamp used to talk to customers as the JTBD interview got to the root cause of why people hired Basecamp.
  2. JTBD interviews help you define a customer’s language (such as what they mean by “easy”), the root cause of why they switched and how their story connects which in turn impact your product marketing.
  3. When Jason interviewed Basecamp customers he was surprised to find that they didn’t use the words project management, even though Basecamp had spent 8 years using that phrase.
  4. The first Switch conference was born when in the middle of the JTBD project Jason turned to Bob and said: “We should do a conference” – he wanted other people to experience JTBD

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Uncovering the Jobs to be Done: Intro + Live Interview

Alex Lumley

This is the best introduction to Jobs to be Done on the internet.  After watching you will:

  • Understand the basics of the JTBD framework: Why JTBD is important for your company and an explanation of the Forces of Progress and the Timeline.
  • Have experienced a live JTBD interview: with an audience member who recently purchased a pre-owned Volkswagon Jetta.
  • Seen a brief interview Debrief & Analysis: examining the interview through the lenses of the Timeline and the Forces of Progress.

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What is Jobs-To-Be-Done (JTBD)?

Ervin Fowlkes

A simple explanation for those interested in the theory of Jobs to be done and how they can apply it to their products.

Understanding the Job by Clayton Christensen

Alex Lumley

“Understanding a product’s actual job makes improving the product easier.
Clayton Christensen, professor at Harvard Business School talks about the job to be done. View more of the series at”