On a recent business trip to London, I surprised the conference organizers by turning down the opportunity to stay at the posh hotel hosting the conference in favor of a rather modest Airbnb flat. The hotel was clearly much more luxurious. The flat would require me to take the tube or an Uber to the event. Who in their right mind would make such a choice? It turns out, a lot of people. Airbnb is currently raising money at a $30 billion valuation, according to The New York Times. That makes Airbnb more valuable than most of the leading hotel chains in the world. People are quick to point to disruption as the reason for the rapid rise of “upstarts” such as Airbnb. But that doesn’t really explain its success. Disruption theory explains and predicts the behavior of companies in danger of being disrupted, but it doesn’t tell a start-up company exactly what product or service to create to successfully disrupt a giant. To get that right, companies have to understand what Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen calls the theory of Jobs to Be Done. Too many companies focus on making their products better and better without ever understanding why customers make the choices they do. Customers don’t simply buy products or services. They “hire” them to do a job. That job is not just about function (having a nice bed to sleep in) but about creating the right set of experiences for customers. Those experiences have social and emotional components that may be even more powerful than the functional ones. Get the full story at Harvard Business Review