33voices, interviews Vijay Kumar, professor at the Institute of Design and author of101 Design Methods.
The Job to be Done
The job to be done
The Swedish furniture retailer, IKEA, has had an unspoken philosophy that insiders refer to as – “We show people the way”. And since their inception in 1943, IKEA has symbolized originality, quality, a distinct design, and most importantly, convenience. Their dominance is no accident and is most notably anchored in how they approach innovation. Rather than following the herd and organizing their business around a customer segment or a particular product line, they’ve chosen instead to focus on innovations that help people improve their lives. Harvard’s Clay Christensen describes it as ‘the job to be done’ – and, he goes on to explain that IKEA ‘understands the jobs that arise in people’s lives, and then develops products and the accompanying experiences required in purchasing and using the product to do the job perfectly.’ It’s no wonder why nobody has been able to copy their approach.
Creating anything new is challenging, often frustrating and always very, very hard. It requires a resilient mindset and a willingness to see others don’t see. In his latest book – 101 Design Methods – Design professor Vijay Kumar provides a more structured approach to streamline your innovation process. He starts by telling you how to reduce your guess work…