Part 3 : Survey the competition, see what works and what doesn’t using “jobs to be done”

In Part 1 we began by asking ourselves some guiding questions to challenge our initial assumptions. In Part 2 we defined our vision and mission, products or services and how we’ll know when we have succeeded.

Now we want to survey the competition – see where they are, what they’re doing – and why. A typical competitive analysis methodology :

  • Who are they?
  • Who are our competitor’s users?
  • How does our competition reach their users?
  • What’s the product?
  • What’s the product’s position in the market?

After we’ve done our homework about our competition’s customers and devised a proper SWOT analysis, we will want to know more about how products are used.

Methodology for product development based on a review of the competition and determining the
Methodology for product development based on a review of the competition and determining the “jobs to be done”

At work I recently completed a study of 20 different sport and news websites, in particular the editorial strategy of responsive web views vs app home screens and their respective navigational schemes.

Have a look at following examples of two very similar, yet subtly different products. What conclusions do you draw from the following questions:

  • What are the “jobs to be done” by this product?
  • How do our competitors minimise effort?
  • How do our competitors monetise?

Remember, just because a cool new feature or service exists in a competitor’s product doesn’t mean it’s appropriate for your product.

It’s important to know why a feature exists, because that’s the only way you’ll be able to determine if it’s the right fit for your product and help achieve your commercial goals.

Part 3 : Survey the competition, see what works and what doesn’t using “jobs to be done”

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