Product Mastery Now for Product Managers, Leaders, and Innovators

Product Mastery Now for Product Managers, Leaders, and Innovators

364: Using Jobs-to-be-Done to avoid 6-figure mistakes - with Aggelos Mouzakitis

December 19, 2021
How product managers can better understand consumer decisions

Product Manager Interview - Aggelos MouzakitisToday we are revisiting one of the best tools for product managers, Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD).

Our guest has been applying JTBD to help SaaS companies sell better, retain more, and avoid 6-figure go-to-market mistakes. His name is Aggelos Mouzakitis, and his company is called Growth Sandwich.

JTBD will help you regardless of your industry or if you are a SaaS provider or not.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers
[2:27] What does Jobs-to-be-Done mean to you?

Jobs-to-be-Done is a theory that explains consumer decisions and provides tools to deeply understand consumer actions. My approach to JTBD is very actionable; I care about putting the theory into action.

[4:21] What are some examples of how you’ve applied JTBD?

I worked for a video conferencing solution, a competitor to the most popular solution. Their value proposition was that they were the simplest video conferencing tool because they were browser-based. During the pandemic, they had explosive churn and explosive growth. They hired me to fix the explosive churn. I did a value gap analysis, which is Jobs-to-be-Done driven. I started with interviewing the power users, churned users, and fresh users. I asked them what job they expected from the product. I then looked at what job the ideal users needed done and what jobs the churned users were trying to do. The churn problem became a positioning problem. Some users used the tool as a temporary solution to do video meetings but later switched to a full-feature solution. They weren’t good users for the product; we needed to discourage use cases that were not right for the product.

We also created a Jobs-to-be-Done-driven cancellation survey. Previously, the company had a cancellation survey that asked which competitor users were switching to, but it didn’t tell their perception of each solution. On the new survey, instead of naming competitors, we described the competitors—a more secure solution, a solution with more features for educators, etc. Now the data gave us insight into the job-to-be-done behind the switch.

[16:24] Tell us more about the actions you took in your example.

First, we audited existing information to know what sort of research to design. Then, we defined our power (ideal) user, in our case with a combination of retention criteria and engagement criteria. Once we had a list of 100-150 people, we started recruitment. We put together an email and provided an Amazon giftcard as a thank-you for their time. Users booked time for an interview on my calendar.

During interviews, know what you want to learn in the conversation and have notes, but let the conversation flow. Interviewing people requires fast thinking and talent. We asked for consent before recording the conversation, and then we started the conversation with an icebreaker. After the discussion, we paid the users.

Next, we did analysis. I watched the videos and took notes on observations and insights. Then I clustered the feedback from all the interviews, noting themes and categories. Last, I presented to the rest of the team.

Action Guide: Put the information Aggelos shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.
Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“My only competitor is the person I was yesterday.” – Unknown


Thank you for taking the journey to product mastery and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.