Tutorial Overview

U of T’s Professor Richardson is the epitome of a globe-trotting White Hat Digital Mercenary.

In no particular order:

  • Former Executive Director of the Canada-Japan Trade Council

  • Two Black Belts

  • Two degrees from Canada’s best-kept secret, Queen’s University

  • Fluent in Japanese

  • Vertebrate Paleontology Enthusiast

  • He’s pretty much the International James Bourne of Business. In 2005, Professor Richardson hired me as his Teaching Assistant, and my life would never be the same.

Learning Objectives

  • The objectives for this unit are to help the reader understand:

  • The role played by each of the 6 environments in business.

  • That these 6 environments can in turn influence each other.

  • That being aware of changes in the environments can help one do business effectively.

  • When the reader has mastered the art of the Six Environment Theory, they will be able to predict billion-dollar product categories and emerging industries by anticipating Problems Worth Solving and Jobs To Be Done.

  • Michael Jagdeo

Problems Worth Solving & Jobs-to-be-Done

Today, there are two questions that haunt the dreams of every disruptive VC, Founder, Designer, Engineer, and Salesperson:

  • Is my solution addressing a high-impact Problem Worth Solving/Job To Be Done OR

  • Am I simply wasting my time, my investors time, my family’s time, my children’s time…am I simply wasting my very LIFE FORCE on a solution that nobody needs?

We all have many jobs to be done in our lives. Some are little (pass the time while waiting in line); some are big (find a more fulfilling career). Some surface unpredictably (dress for an out-of-town business meeting after the airline lost my suitcase); some regularly (pack a healthful lunch for my daughter to take to school). When we buy a product, we essentially “hire” it to help us do a job. If it does the job well, the next time we’re confronted with the same job, we tend to hire that product again. And if it does a crummy job, we “fire” it and look for an alternative. (We’re using the word “product” here as shorthand for any solution that companies can sell; of course, the full set of “candidates” we consider hiring can often go well beyond just offerings from companies.) (Source: Know Your Customers Jobs To Be Done, Harvard Business Review)

Unfortunately, there isn’t any literature on how Problems Worth Solving and Jobs To Be Done ARISE in the first place. Just how do opportunities EMERGE!??

In my opinion, business has already been solved. Unfortunately, too much time is spent studying and applying disciplines in the wrong order.

How Might We Forecast Problems Worth Solving & Jobs To Be Done?

It stands to reason that if we could PREDICT which Problems Worth Solving and Jobs To Be Done are worth solving ahead of time, we will rescue our time, energy, and budget from building perfect solutions nobody cares about.

In a sentence, Professor Witiger’s Six-Environment Theory is the one framework that can help disruptive Founders, Designers, Engineers, and Salespeople make rapid, high-impact, well-informed, decisions from moment to moment.The Six Environments that work hand-in-hand to produce Problems Worth Solving and Jobs To Be Done are as follows:

  • Political / Legal / Regulatory
  • Economic
  • Sociocultural
  • Technological
  • Competitive
  • Geographic

PWS/JTBDs emerge from the intersection of the Six Environments in time. For the nerds, check out the idea of a confluence.