Value Proposition Design

Value Proposition Design – Book Review

By: Alexander Osterwalder

Understanding Customer Jobs:

The first step in achieving product/market fit involves understanding the jobs your customers are trying to accomplish in their work and lives. These jobs could be functional, social, or emotional. It’s crucial to grasp these jobs in your customers’ own words, as the language they use is key to effective communication. Techniques like customer interviews and surveys can unlock valuable insights into customer jobs, and ranking them by importance is essential.

Identifying Customer Pains:

Once customer jobs are understood, the focus shifts to identifying the pains customers experience before, during, and after trying to get a job done. Customer pains encompass undesired outcomes, obstacles, and risks. Undesired outcomes may include functional, social, emotional, or ancillary pains. Obstacles are factors hindering job initiation or progress, and risks involve potential negative consequences. Ranking these pains by severity helps prioritize solutions based on customer needs.

Recognizing Customer Gains:

Customer gains highlight what customers want to achieve through a particular job. This involves recognizing required, expected, desired, and unexpected gains. Required gains are fundamental for a solution to work, expected gains are basic features, desired gains go beyond expectations, and unexpected gains are unforeseen but valuable. Qualifying these gains based on relevancy provides a deeper understanding of customer preferences.

Putting Findings into Action:

By compiling lists of customer jobs, pains, and gains, businesses gain powerful insights. Understanding customers at an intimate level sets a foundation for achieving product/market fit. The language used by customers becomes a potent tool for effective communication. This thorough understanding gives businesses a competitive edge, as many competitors may not invest the time to delve into customer needs at such a profound level. Applying these insights strategically can lead to the coveted state where demand for the product or service surpasses supply.

🚀 Unlocking product/market fit: Know your customers intimately, address their jobs, pains, and gains. 🎯 #ProductMarketFit #CustomerUnderstanding #BusinessStrategy


Achieving product/market fit is a critical milestone for any venture, be it a new business or product line. The process involves a deep understanding of customer needs through the meticulous exploration of customer jobs, pains, and gains. Identifying what customers are trying to accomplish, recognizing the obstacles and frustrations they face, and acknowledging their desired outcomes sets the stage for creating solutions that truly resonate. The power lies not only in understanding these aspects but also in communicating in the language customers use. This comprehensive approach, often overlooked by competitors, positions businesses to meet and exceed customer expectations, ultimately leading to a state where demand for the product or service outpaces supply. In essence, the journey to product/market fit begins with knowing your customers intimately and tailoring solutions that directly address their unique challenges and aspirations.

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