American households spent $175 on Valentine’s Day.
I gave cash.
A stack of twenties seems like an odd and impersonal gift for a valentine, mother, or a friend but even cash serves multiple jobs.
My wife appreciated the cash not for the money but for the convenience. It meant one less trip to the ATM, one less IOU when a co-worker’s kid had a fundraiser, and one easier way to pay at McDonald’s.
Thinking about convenience is a way to think through jobs to be done.
Buying a shirt for dad can be a gift of convenience as well. If dad doesn’t like shopping then a new shirt and no trip to the store is a double gift.
Okay, but I don’t know what to get. That’s fine. Practice your jobs-to-be-done thinking and consider the context. When does someone feel rushed? Is it early or late in the day? Is it before work, church, or something else? Who else is there? What creates the pressure? Is rushed the right antonym for convenience?
Explicit digging may not work, instead, inquire softly. Act like a documentarian. Be curious, not judgmental. Get mom a great gift and practice jobs thinking. That’s a gift for both of you.