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When Coffee and Kale Compete: Become great at making products people will buy

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  412 ratings  ·  51 reviews
A Job to be Done is the process a consumer goes through whenever she aims to transform her existing life-situation into a preferred one, but cannot because there are constraints that stop her.

When Coffee and Kale Compete by Alan Klement helps you become better at creating and selling products that people will buy. Your joy at work will grow. You will know how to help com
Kindle Edition, 229 pages
Published April 15th 2018 by NYC Press
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Andrea Hill
There are several different camps who lay claim to Jobs to be Done; the theory that people have things in their lives they're trying to accomplish, and they "hire" products and services to get them done.

I first read books about JTBD by Harvard Business School professor Clay Christensen and Strategyn founder Tony Ulwick. I was intrigued when I came across this ebook by Klement, who claims to be evolving JTBD theory.

Klement is very contrarian on Twitter, so I wasnt sure if I'd like this book. It
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I gave up 2/3rds through this book and I shouldn't have gone that far. I hoped it would make the JTBD framework more concrete and usable for me. It didn't. The book is full of repetitions and stories sparsely populated with information. The book evidently lacks editorial work. The part I read could have been condensed to few pages.

On top of that the author seems to have some personal issues with Clayton Christensen. Criticism of his work and the "Innovators Dilemma" are spread and repeated acro
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book to get started with the JTBD framework. Free of jargon and bullshit. Must read for all makers.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is utter garbage. A poor attempt to rewrite JTBD history and trash the actual pioneers so Alan and his pals can get a free lunch. Disgusting. Avoid and go with the books of the experts: Anthony Ulwick, Lance Bettencourt, Clayton Christensen, etc. I’m disgusted by this Klement guy.
Nick Toumpelis
The first edition of this book was my introduction to JTBD. I came across it on (Medium), which is managed by Alan Klement (the author). Prior to getting the book, I had a brief look at some of the ideas described there and got the book to do a deeper dive. I had no idea what JTBD is prior to that, and no clue about the history of the theory.

The theory itself makes a lot of sense, and for me, it clicked in many places with my own experiences and observations about innovation and produc
Ketil Moland
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Read this book first

If you are trying to get a better understanding of the Jobs to be Done-concept, do yourself a favor and pick up this excellent book first. There are several different JTBD schools, and this book does a great job of laying out the differences between them.

If you, like me, have explored other resources before finding this one, I would recommend starting with reading chapter 16: "Appendix: Know the two – very – different interpretations of Jobs to be Done." It will help you gai
Heath Lympaney
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I finished this book a month ago. That I keep going back to the book as a reference, and that I have started to use the language of the book is a testament to value and lessons in the book. On that basis alone it is worth a read.

However, I can't give the book five starts. At times it was difficult to read. The writing is clear, but there are sections where his desire to have a dig at someone and push a parallel agenda gets the better of him. Getting personal detracts from the text, and does not
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book once. And then I read it again. And I keep going back to it. I've even signed up for a paperback. It's one of the best books I've read on the topic of innovation.

Alan Klement keeps the language simple and the content well edited and concise. His work is supported by past successes, mathematics and psychology. The book reflects the idea of Jobs to be Done against successful and failed products.

This book isn't only about theory. It even gives you a few ideas on how you can get st
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Klement shows you how to listen to customers and find their struggle to evolve. Aligning your company with properly conducted research around problems (not solutions!) is a great way toward success for your products. This book has great examples of companies that properly implemented JTBD (kudos for not having the overused AirBnB as an example). Succinct writing from a practitioner - low on theory, high on implementation. Definitely worth reading multiple times and should be treated as a manual ...more
Andriy Bas
Great book!

JTBD theory is very powerful! Looking through the eyes of the customer that has a Job to Be Done and hires different products/services to do this job is eye-opening. It shows how sometimes seemingly unrelated products are actually competitors.

The theory is based on the assumption that we have an intrinsic desire to improve ourselves. To become a better version of ourselves, and are working to achieve this.
For me, it seems to be only partially true, since people are super good at har
Budd Margolis
Apr 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
JTBD or "jobs to be done" which explains that consumers hire products to do tasks and if you understand that, you will be able to make products consumers desire. There are pulls and pushes which defines the purchase decision process and a few useful industry examples. But I reject the idea what Kodak made a mistake rejecting their digital camera prototype in 1975. If they had developed this, way before the tech would make this small and affordable/practical, they would have had to spend hundreds ...more
Sebastiano Bea
The author's wish is to make this the manifesto of Job To Be Done (JTBD) theory.
He does succeed in the objective, since the theory is presented clearly and with examples that help explain it.
However, you can tell that this book is put together from different blog posts that the author had previously released on the web. A lot of the content is duplicated at different times of the book and the readability doesn't flow. Every chapter seems like a fresh start.
The book is short but it could be much
Oct 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is okay. I struggled getting through and focusing on the very theoretical and convoluted first quarter. Overall I thought the writing style was annoyingly repetitive and the book would have barely needed half the pages to get the points across.
The case studies are super interesting and made the book worthwhile for me, but it came at a cost of feeling like wasting a lot of time on excessively reiterated concepts and recited quotes from merely one page prior. Hard work. But JTBD is an aw
Jul 23, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent overview of the Jobs To Be Done approach, way better than Ulwick's sales-y book. Klement's approach is different from Ulwick's in that it takes a higher-level view of what a Job is. The underlying argument is that a customer wants to improve something in her life (or work) and that is the job to be done. Everything else is downstream activities that people do in order to achieve that job.
The second half of the book with the case studies gets a little slow and repetitive, but otherwise
Deepika Bandaru
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book does a good job explaining the aspirational 'Job to be done' theory. The cases are diverse and fit well into the framework. But the choice of examples left me wondering about the longevity of JBTD based solutions.
Loved how the cases were practical and not merely theoretical applications. Would have appreciated it more if the author jumped into the cases sooner and spent less time pitching for the theory. The 'why I need it' went far too long before 'what it is' started.
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book all about the ‘Jobs to the Done’ (JTBD) theory - how Revlon ‘makes cosmetics in the factory and sells hope in the drugstore’ - and how, when someone buys a drill, they are actually buying holes (or, more accurately, a tidier home). It is about what motivates people to buy what they buy, with case studies including a theatre, chocolate bars and food delivery. A lot of the theory is pretty obvious in retrospect, but great for giving you a new lens through which to see the world.
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the large part I wasn't very happy with the book for a few reasons: content didn't feel well structured; there are many references to other theories, which isn't bad but it was hard to keep track if I'm reading a book about jobs to be done or something else; it seems that Alan has a problem with Clayton Christensen and it doesn't look good when this is quite visible throughout the book.
However, last few chapters and appendix 'saved' it and I would say I do recommend reading it.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like the definition the author gives on the Jobs to be done concept and also think this is a great and deep introduction to the topic. The business cases presented through the book are a good illustration and discuss the concept well. I think the author falls short with the concept when mentioning highly innovative/disruptive products like the iPhone and then he doesn't lay the presented concept onto these cases. The author also focuses very much on this one concept, understandable, because it ...more
Mike Hales
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great model, requires work

Once you get inside of the JTBD model, it becomes much easier to flow through the book. The challenge is in reframing your customers needs but as always the key is to talk to customers! First hand research will unlock the model faster and really help with product development.
Justinas Lapienis
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great book, and the greatest so far I've read on product development (others I've read are the Lean Startup, Rework, and something else I don't even remember anymore). This tho is the most exciting, the most important and the most transferable piece of advice or even more so of a system I am familiar with to date. Highly recommended. ...more
Fabrizio Trotti
Apr 19, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting approach focused on the journey of the customer towards progress (vs the task at end or the feature of the solution). It is focused on product development and innovation, but Jobs-To-Be-Done are popular also in marketing and sales. Plenty of case studies, mainly from relatively small B2Cs.
Tyler Roberts
Apr 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I understood the concept of jobs to be done because of design classes I’ve taken. This book helped me to go a step further in my understanding and learn about nuances surrounding the theory.

My advice is to read the last chapter before jumping in, as it gives a broad overview of the ideas covered in the book.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
A nice read. Although I've read quite a lot on Jobs-to-be-Done by now, it had some valuable points where the focus was a bit different from other sources - this helped me get a deeper understanding of the methodology. ...more
Michael Molyneaux
Jul 01, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really boring writting style. Although I buy the JBTD mantra all examples are super lame. I don't want to know how others have built products for entrepreneurs. That's not interesting. Cases where they built products for more regular people would be better. Plus, super boring writting. ...more
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good book to understand JTBD theory and the different interpretations of it.
not giving 5 because i think he totally misses the point when talking about the Innovator Dilemma, while focusing on one of many examples- and not a very relevant one.
Benjamin Arp
This book has some really good concepts. However, the formatting is rough, misspellings are distracting, and it could have been shorter.

Once you look past those things this is a great book for entrepreneurs, product managers, or anyone that wants to better understand products.
Jul 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally some clarity on a category of theories (Jobs-to-be-done) that are so often misrepresented or misunderstood.

- Practical tips to developing new products/features
- Clear explanation of Jobs-as-Progress theory
- Specific examples of how this approach works in practice
Paulo Adalberto Reimann
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Enjoyed the book from start to finish. In my view by far the best when it comes to Job To Be Done. Another detail, how candidly the author exposes his disagreements with guys like Clayton Christensen and Jim Colins. 100 % agreed.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ux, productmanagement
Excellent book from Alan Klement. The book clarifies the Jobs-to-be-Done theory, offering a clear perspective on the different approaches we currently have. Alan did an impressive work improving the explanations through real-world cases and examples.
Apr 05, 2021 rated it liked it
An almost good book on an important subject

A good intro to JTBD with core material for in intermediate practitioner scattered amongst the pages. Consider it a great set of blog posts.
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