Lately I've had a few product discussion that got me thinking about how technology sometimes seems to distract us from focusing on the job to be done.
Here's two concrete examples:
1. Restaurant recommendations
How often do you last minute, in the city you live in, launch Foursquare/Yelp/[insert your favorite app here] to find a place to go for dinner?
Unlike how most of these products work, the job to be done in this case is not to provide users with a list of suggested restaurants nearby. The actual job to be done is making sure users know where to go for dinner. This might seem like a marginal difference, but realizing this has big implications on the solution.
Wouldn't for example a weekly email digest with personalized restaurant recommendations be a better and more natural way of staying up to date, and for the majority of times just know where to go for dinner in the city you live in?
2. Dating services
Most dating services out there are essentially just browsable database of singles. How users browse these databases might differ, but that's besides the point. Similar to the restaurant example above, the job to be done is not to provide users with a list of singles. Dating is about meeting people, so the real job to be done is to make sure people meet in real life.
The team behind the newcomer Grouper seems to have realized this and created their own neat solution.
Grouper, in their own words, is a social club that sets up drinks between two groups of friends (three guys and three girls). Users apply with Facebook, Grouper finds a match, you and your match each grab two friends, and Grouper tells you when and where to meet.
In my opinion these are two good examples of simpler solutions that in many ways address the real job to be done better than many of the fancy apps or feature bloated web apps out there.
I believe this is the way you create winning products. You identify the real job to be done, and try to find the simplest/best solution for that problem. To me it seems like people often overlook this fundamental exercise as they are too focused on the latest technology, and what it enables us to build.
 opposite of on-demand discovery the most discovery we do in life is passive. A friend mentioning a restaurant in a conversation, seeing an Instagram photo of a great looking dish, etc.