No one wants to learn (any) theory - with “When Coffee and Kale Compete” not only will you want to learn Jobs to be Done theory, you will want to go and apply it to your own work!
I had known about Jobs to be Done (JTBD) for a few years but Christensen’s “Milkshake” case study never really resonated with me. Neither did Ulwick’s books about his laborious ODI method. When I stumbled across “When Coffee and Kale Compete” back in late 2016, things changed dramatically. The book was a real eye-opener. For the first time, I understood what Jobs theory was about - discovering what progress humans are looking to make in their lives and how they pull in solutions (products and services) to help them get to where they want to be. Alan’s clear and concise writing style makes this comprehensive book easily digestible. From the theory’s origins to the description of its principles, the case studies from the interviews with entrepreneurs and the practical tips to get started, this book will help you progress.
Since reading “When Coffee and Kale Compete” I have been much more involved with the JTBD community. I have evolved both professionally as a Product Manager and R&D Coach and personally as a husband and dad because I now think more about the “why behind the why”. I ask better questions and thus make better recommendations about what products and services to build (or not to build). Even today, I frequently revisit the book for my research projects.
This book is for anyone who is looking for a solid grounding on JTBD theory and practical tips on how to get started with applying it to their work.
Excellent book on JTBD. An absolute marketing fundamental that should be given to every marketing manager in every company in the UK.
To be clear, this book isn’t just a ‘theory’ about consumer behaviour or some generic ‘next-gen marketing philosophy’, it’s a detailed step-by-step analysis of how customers truly buy (hire) products. A must-read for anyone who wants to truly put the customer at the centre of their business.
I was fairly familiar with JTBD as a methodology even before reading this book. I had read Ulwick's "What Customers Want" which sounded great but when I wanted to implement it at the fast-growing SaaS company I was working at the time, I had more questions than answers. I had also gone through one full JTBD study and read dozens of blog posts.
Fast forward to a time about six months ago when I started doing customer development for a new software project. I did altogether 90 interviews in 2,5 months, and browsing "When Coffee and Kale Compete" alongside doing interviews kept my focus in the right place (ie. specific behaviours of customers rather than their opinions) and it helped to ask more meaningful questions. I still read bits from it regularly as we've built our first features and are doing early sales.
I'd recommend it to anyone who's working on a new product or a sharper positioning/message for an existing product. It's a useful read for any entrepreneur, marketer, CEO, product manager.