Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly” as Want to Read:
Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  811 ratings  ·  66 reviews
Our new digital landscape has spawned an entrepreneurial culture and the belief that anyone with a laptop and an Internet connection has the power to change the world—to create an idea that flies. But for every groundbreaking business that started this way, a thousand others have stalled or failed. Why? What’s the secret to success? What do Khan Academy, the GoPro camera, ...more
Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published October 8th 2015 by Perceptive Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Meaningful, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Meaningful

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  811 ratings  ·  66 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Meaningful: The Story of Ideas That Fly
Leticia Supple
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is a boring book with some interesting quotes, that doesn't tell you much really. One thing it really *doesn't* do is tell you the story of ideas that fly - as claimed by its subtitle.

This book could have been amazing. It could have shown stories about amazing ideas that gained traction, throughout time. It could have presented a model for meaningful ideas that grow legs, created from an epic study of ideas and business through time. This book could have been a really important cornerstone
Oct 29, 2015 rated it it was ok
An enthusiastic take on creating things in the digital realm and giving people exactly what they want. But I found it hard to happily and enthusiastically read along with statements like 'the decline in the newspaper industry wasn't brought about by a change in the quality of the product - it was brought about by its increasing irrelevance. (Contrast that with) BuzzFeed's focus on the reader creates headlines for the social sharing generation. Because BuzzFeed noticed 60% of their traffic comes ...more
Mariam Talakhadze
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, favorites, business
wonderfully inspiring book

This is the book i was looking for through my struggles and needs of inspiration for my entrepreneureal future. I loved the philosophy and thoughtfulness of it and also how consice it is.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is starting a busienss or is already running a successful or non-successful startup. The blueprint is very useful. I will definitely exercise on it. There are many case studies and real examples given too throughout the book which I always appre
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book has one basic message - understand your customer and design for her - figure out how to help her tell a better version of her story with your product than without. The point is nicely stated... Many times. With dozens of examples that are given rather brief attention. Half way through, the author mentions that she has a blog. That makes the book make much more sense - it is a string of blog posts meshed together into a book. But a book is a different form, a form that does better with ...more
Oct 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
In an age of power shifts, markets being disrupted, endless competition and so many broken systems around us- this book puts the finger on the one ingredient that makes all the difference-

The one that makes you stand out in 100 competitors.
The one you'll be successful with not only in two years time, but way further than a decade away.
The one that will help your business thrive (and transform, if needed) despite financial turmoil and uncertainty.
The one that won't let you lose your mind and get
Jarkko Laine
Nov 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, marketing
An important reminder for entrepreneurs — or anyone who creates something

Meaningful is a quick read, with one key idea surrounded with just enough context to make it sink in: love your customers, then create for them somethings that will make them feel understood and valued. Something that answers their real problems or needs.

In all, even though the approach is different, this book reminded me a lot of Kathy Sierra's Badass: Making Users Awesome, another favorite from this year.

I'm definitely t
Rick Yvanovich
Great! and dare I say it, so full of meaning! Seriously though, if you're wondering whether your marketing is really working or not, or feel its not quite on pitch, then read (or listen) to this book as it will show you some new perspectives to consider and may likely get your marketing pitch perfect. I have the kindle boo but also got the audio and was listening to it on my run, and it was so engaging I didn't want to stop running, so not only was it great content, it helped clock up a few more ...more
Lamar Stagg
Nov 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The deep stuff of marketing

Not another how-to marketing book. Some smart karate person once said something like "you need to learn how to 'be' before you can learn how to 'do'. This and her previous books all teach you how to be. Great price for invaluable content. Instead of a bunch of how-tos, she follows her own advice by telling stories and sharing deep insights. But she never thinks for you.
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
The author points out that effective marketing results begin with a product that is designed to address acute customer pain points and that effective design starts with empathy. Her broader point is that customers want to be understood and helped to do the things they want to do. Successful marketing, therefore, starts with listening and becomes an open dialogue before it converts business. For me the book was too abstract to be prescriptive and too prescriptive to be abstracted.
Thudcharin Wongprayuk
Oct 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
"The best products and services in the world don't simply invite people to say 'this is awesome'; they remind people how great they themselves are."
This is my favourite quote on this book. It reminds me of thinking of the customer's story first before you innovate or create the products or services.
Stephen McGill
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another great read from Bernadette!

Like all her previous books, this one is full of gems and great suggestions. If you're interested in marketing, branding and building a business, consider this a must read!
Sue Cartwright
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When we help people to be who they want to be, we are doing our best, most meaningful work.

This excellent book explains how the most successful ideas deliver value for the people they are designed to serve. When you give people something they love and you clearly demonstrate that you care, it gives you unparalleled competitive advantage and your ideas will fly.

It means building your business around the principles of 'purpose', 'individuality', 'sustainability', 'provenance' and 'ethics' where y
Anton Mies
Jul 06, 2017 rated it liked it
The author unfortunately had not followed own findings, while delivering the content of this book.

The idea of the book is good, but the subsections are too small. The book jumps right after 2 pages to the next topic without linking the subsections building on the premise that the reader is by now aware that you "ought to start with the customer".
Less subtopics with a more coherent story around the development of customer-personalized market.

The book gives an impression of being an aggregation o
Ryan Roenigk
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Give this book to someone who doesn't get it (yet).

This book is a good fit for someone who doesn't yet get what all the fuss is about. If you know someone who is still set in the mode of building something and then setting out to persuade people to become customers, this book might succeed in illustrating the benefits of asking customers first.
Budd Margolis
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Short but well written so you can grasp all the golden nuggets within. Bernadette Jiwa knows what it takes to establish a successful new concept and how to take it to the max. Anyone struggling to figure out how to become an entrepreneur or having issues with their current business model should read this.
Aug 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
For most of this book I was going to rate it 3 stars. Not because it wasn’t good. I think more because I wasn’t in the mood for the topic, strangely (why did I keep reading?!?). But the last part really resonated. I love empathising with people and hearing their stories. A reminder of what’s important when all’s said and done. So it was a good ending, at least for me.
Ariel Diaz
Dec 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
Nothing unique or insightful

The entire book is a collection of warm and fuzzy headlines from various business stories, cherry picking the meaning of each to fit an overall weak Point and narrative.
Diego Barraza
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Short and sweet, fast to read insights and business reminders.

Short and sweet, fast to read insights and business reminders. Recommended for everyone doing a new company, product or service.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
quick read.
some false information about the etymology of the word barbarian.
take lyft as an example instead of uber, weird...
otherwise really great things worth repeating over and over.
loved several passages.
Nicolene Murdoch
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Audiobook narrated be the author.

This book is great reminder of the importance of our customers. In my case this would be students, and as relevant. It outlines great brand and design stories to remind us to think about meaningfulness for them and not for us. Easy read and enjoyable.
Puru Gupta
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
While the book is highly relatable, it is broken in flow , as bernadette probably tried to fit in a lot more in every chapter. Can relate to this kind of writing so did not mind it. But you will have to pull out take aways from this one as it's more like a compendium of insights vs. a theme based book. Nonetheless, a lot of interesting insights so dont miss it ! ...more
May 12, 2020 rated it liked it
This book was quite average. Nothing great or amazing to learn. It lacked substance to really get into it.
Overall if you want references to customer driven companies this books has a fair few of them.
Helfren Filex
Aug 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: market
Another book of the author Bernadette Jiwa for this week. I think her writing compared to the first book about brand is really relatable and close to each other in terms of context. However, it has different examples and easier to digest. Stories are good perspective to put in the buyers eyes.
Milad Khosseini
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Of course Bernadette Jiwa uses her own personal style but I enjoyed reading this book. It's a blueprint for a good strategy. ...more
Ashley Dudarenok
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Interesting book that is breaking down why some ideas take off and others don't. ...more
Nisha Jain
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
An essential book to remind business folks to not lose sight of customers' problems and focus on an outside-in approach. ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent review of good design

This book is a Gentle, kind look at the importance of placing the customer at the heart of the product
Jasky Singh
Apr 16, 2019 rated it liked it
A re-hash of the same message over and over. Nothing new or really anything actionable
Neeraj Mishra
Oct 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Overrated .. like how marketing people do! Theoretical and philosophical talk
Kislay Chandra
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Old wine in a new bottle. The insights are not new, but they are so important that they have to be repeated over and over. Thought provoking read.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Escaping the Build Trap: How Effective Product Management Creates Real Value
  • The Practice: Shipping Creative Work
  • Creative Selection: Inside Apple's Design Process During the Golden Age of Steve Jobs
  • Poke the Box
  • The Product Book: How to Become a Great Product Manager
  • Shape Up: Stop Running in Circles and Ship Work that Matters
  • Crossing the Chasm: Marketing and Selling High-Tech Products to Mainstream Customers
  • The Lean Product Playbook: How to Innovate with Minimum Viable Products and Rapid Customer Feedback
  • Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love
  • Empowered: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products
  • Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
  • Outcomes Over Output: Why customer behavior is the key metric for business success
  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
  • Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation
  • The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building
  • Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive
  • Happiness Simplified: Free Version: Why are we so unhappy? Happiness is a serious problem
  • Seduction Very Simplfied: How to Build an Attractive Personality Through Personal Development to Attract Women (Simplified Book 1)
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
Bernadette Jiwa is a leading story strategist and author who is on a mission to help people to find own and tell the stories that set them apart.

Her eight bestselling books are modern classics on mastering the art of storytelling to persuade, influence and inspire.

Bernadette’s award-winning blog The Story of Telling is a go-to source of inspiration for leaders from Disney, UNICEF, Louis Vuitton,

Related Articles

  Luvvie Ajayi Jones—author, cultural critic, digital entrepreneur—might be best described as a professional truthteller. Her crazily popular...
51 likes · 0 comments
“The job of every single business on the planet is to do just one thing—to make people happy. When you find ways to do that, you win.” 8 likes
“Innovation is a by-product of empathy.” 2 likes
More quotes…