The right tool for the job (part 2)

By: Steve Little, Principal with The Disruption Lab

My last blog raised the question, “are your customers just making do with your products and services?” They won’t to do so indefinitely. Understanding your customers’ jobs to be done is an essential part of the innovation process; in fact, it’s an essential part of remaining relevant and staying in business.

So, you think you know your customers’ jobs to be done. Okay then, what’s next?

The previous blog introduced you to the first phase of our Disruptive Innovation process, Discover. This blog addresses our second phase, Design.

In the Design phase, we explore the best way to get our customers’ jobs done. Best involves optimizing across multiple factors, including what’s possible, what’s practical, and what’s profitable.

The second phase of The Disruption Lab’s innovation process seeks to answer these and other questions.

An important component of the Design phase is the Business Model Canvas, which was first introduced by Alexander Osterwalder about 10 years ago. For more information on the Business Model Canvas and our lean approach to innovation, please explore the following:

In the Design phase, we concurrently and iteratively consider both Business Model and Technology.

Business Model

Develop business models that satisfy the job(s) to be done with a simple, readily accessible, inexpensive solution that achieves

  • Market leadership
  • Sustainable competitive advantage
  • Profitability

The process involves:

  • Developing a Business Model Canvas
  • Iteratively revising and clarifying assumptions with potential customers, stakeholders, and industry, market, and subject experts
  • Detailing assumptions to be tested during the Validate phase


Determine what technology will be leveraged by the business model. The exploration includes identifying and aligning technology enablers and business model requirements. The process involves:

  • Exploring existing and emerging technologies
  • Determining how technologies might be used in a unique way to create a competitive advantage and support a new business model
  • Developing wireframes and customer journey maps
  • Assessing the viability of planned technology architecture

Coming out of the Design phase with a testable Business Model Canvas, we progress to the Validate phase. We will introduce you to our Validate phase in February.

Steve is a Principal of The Disruption Lab. Prior to joining The Disruption Lab, Steve served as the Principal Consultant for the Strategic Solutions Group at InfoWorks, a regional business and technology consulting firm based in Nashville, TN. While his consulting engagements at InfoWorks spanned several industries, the majority of his work was in healthcare.​

Much of Steve’s career has been in executive leadership roles at Ingram Content Group (formerly Ingram Book Group). Over his 15 years with Ingram, Steve was part of a high performance executive team that drove significant growth in revenue and profits through innovative customer partnerships and services. Steve’s leadership was characterized by adeptly leveraging technology and building responsive organizations through organizational design and development. Steve’s business experience ranges from technical responsibilities such as operations research, business analysis, and systems development to senior management responsibilities as CEO, Chairman, and board director.​​

You can connect with or ask Steve a question through The Disruption Lab community at


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