What is the Job to be done for Apple Watch?
What does the customer value? That is the most important question in any new product or service. Apple has been a master at this. I find it important to follow and understand the people and organisations who are excellent at Innovation even when it has nothing to do with social innovation. The key for me is learning. I use the framework of Job to be Done to understand value.
When you go to a hardware store to get a drill, you are thinking of the hole you can make to put in a screw. The point of the screw is to hang a painting. That “hanging a painting” is the job to be done.
The introduction of Apple Watch is a bit puzzling to me. I have been trying to understand whether its about “info on the wrist”, or health or maps or other things. Whats the main value? Is it a fashion statement? A few people have commented on this with the same doubts. Horace Dediu has some good ideas.
Three tent-poles in Apple Watch:— Horace Dediu (@asymco) September 9, 2014
1. An accurate timepiece
2. A new communication tool
3. Activity monitor
Horace is of the view that the Watch will be much more than a normal watch. What is the job to be done right now? His first tweet refers to time, communication tool and activity monitor. Are these important jobs for customers? But others are not so sure. Felix Salmon:
The Apple Watch is as much a Watch as the iPhone is a Phone.— Horace Dediu (@asymco) September 10, 2014
Here’s my main beef with the Apple Watch: Apple has always been the company which makes products for real people, rather than gadgets for geeks. It’s the Less Is More company, yet the Apple Watch is overloaded with features. It pays for things! It measures your heartbeat! It controls your TV! It stores your airline boarding pass! It can show you a picture of where you are on the planet, in glorious high-def Retina resolution! Etc, etc.
Then came the introductory video, and we never got an explanation of why the Apple Watch existed, or what need it is supposed to fill. What is the market? Why does Apple believe it can succeed there? What makes the Apple Watch unique?(http://stratechery.com/2014/apple-watch-asking-saying/#fn:1:1131 “In fact, somewhat bizarrely, Cook’s first words after the reveal were about Apple Watch’s accuracy:
Apple Watch is the most personal device we’ve ever created. We set out to make the best watch in the world. One that is precise. It’s synchronized with the universal time standard and it’s accurate within plus or minus 50 milliseconds.
What makes this so strange is that accurate timekeeping was the big selling point for Quartz watches. The Quartz crisis caused a significant decline of the Swiss watchmaking industry, but the primary reason for the success of the Asian manufacturers that adopted the technology was that they were so much cheaper. Today the watch industry is bifurcated between high end (relatively inaccurate) mechanical watches and inexpensive Asian offerings; I’m quite confused why Apple would be effectively aligning themselves with the latter, and with their first slide to boot!“)
This is why I’m worried that the lack of explanation about the Watch’s purpose wasn’t just a keynote oversight, but something that reflects a fundamental question about the product itself that Apple itself has yet to answer: is Watch an iPhone accessory, or is it valuable in its own right?4
Market Leader In A Category No One Really Asked For The Apple Watch is absolutely the best smart watch on the planet. That much I’m sure of. But are we sure that wearable technology is something we really want? In the same way those who publicly wore blue-tooth headsets five years ago and those who wore Google Glass one year ago, will smart watches ever become a thing that people genuinely want? If anyone can make it happen, it’s Apple. It’s going to take a lot of time, and a lot of test cases when this thing launches next year.