Hey Alan Klement —
There is a lot to unpack here, but I’ll start with the comment about only focusing on first purchases — and not repurchases.
I agree that there is more energy in a first time purchase (switch) which is why it’s easier to study those transactions. However, if we only chase first purchases, how do we innovate in old industries?
How does Uber study a first-time taxi ride, or Apple study a first time CD purchase?
Those customers do exist but finding them is a challenge and more important not even the right customer segment.
Both of those switches were about an innovation that reduced a pet-peeve or problem created by friction in consumption (not acquisition) created as a byproduct from an existing solution — one that even needs to be regularly repurchased for the problems to materialize.
If we follow only first purchases, we wouldn’t be able to apply JTBD for these kinds of innovation — which would be a huge shame.
In my worldview, innovation is about growth. JTBD is about human behavior. Deeply understanding the second allows for the first.