About Tony Ulwick :

Tony Ulwick, Founder and CEO of Strategy talks about his book, Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice. Tony is the pioneer of jobs-to-be-done theory and the inventor of Outcome-Driven Innovation® (ODI), a powerful innovation process with a documented success rate that is 5-times the industry average. Tony has been granted 12 patents for his game-changing innovation practices, which result in products that help customers get a “job” done better. This is what Philip Kotler, the marketing guru says about Tony, “I call Ulwick the Deming of Innovation because, more than anyone else, Tony has turned innovation into a science.” Another Harvard Prof and Management Guru Clayton Christenson, in his popular book, Innovator’s Solution cites Tony Ulwick as the originator of Jobs to be done. Tony has contributed many times to HBR and MIT Sloan Management Review.

Questions Asked to Tony Ulwick:

  • With an entire lifetime of work 25 years to be precise, there is a lot that we can talk about. But today we want to focus on your book JTBD: Theory to Practice. But before we get started, we want to know from you how did you come in contact with Prof. Clayton Christensen and what was your collaboration with him on JTBD?
  • Alright, last time when we met, I asked you what led you to write JTBD when you had already written What Customers Want. I later found out that you already answered it in a blog post: “10 reasons why I wrote Jobs to be Done: Theory to Practice”. Do you want to summarise it for our audience?
  • Tell us about Cordis turnaround story where you helped them create new product line and increase their market share from 1% to 20%.
  • The goal of innovation is to devise solutions that address customers’ unmet need. but could you help us understand why do companies find it so difficult to understand these unmet needs of their customers.
  • You have three parts to the book: Theory, Process, Practice. You also have a chapter on Case Studies where you reveal how some organisations discover hidden growth opportunities. Could you explain what these parts are broadly?
  • You created a framework for capturing customer needs effectively and call it Jobs to Be Done Needs Framework. Do you want to summarise the framework?
  • The other big takeaway is the Jobs to Be Done Growth Strategy Matrix. Though its a deep topic by itself, could you please summarize it for us?
  • “Defining the job too narrowly will limit the discovery of growth opportunities. Defining the job too broadly will result in non-actionable insights.” Understanding this with the stove-top Kettle was perfect. Could you please summarise with the same example.
  • What does it take to become an ODI practitioner?
  • What are your suggestions on transforming the organisation towards an outcome driven organisation?
  • Since most of our audience are product managers, what according to you are the vitals skills for product managers to succeed in their careers?


  • JTBD Growth Strategy Matrix: https://strategyn.com/files/jobs-to-be-done-matrix-pdf/