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Two books you should read

Deploy Empathy
Deploy Empathy
This newsletter is usually devoted to my writing… but this week I’m going to do something different and highlight two Jobs to Be Done books I read last week that I think you’ll enjoy and learn from!
I don’t use affiliate links so I’m only sending these books out because I’m genuinely excited about them.

The Secret Lives of Customers
I intentionally went light on theory in Deploy Empathy. I wanted to make the book as quickly actionable as possible to help you get up and running with interviews, rather than bogging you down in theory. I permitted myself one restrained section with frameworks and tried to weave the rest of Jobs to Be Done theory into the rest of the book contextually.
It is worth diving into the thinking behind Jobs to Be Done, though, and The Secret Lives of Customers is the most enjoyable trip through it that I’ve encountered in the dozens of books I’ve read on the topic.
It’s framed as a novel about a cafe that is struggling with declining sales. It’s very readable and could easily be read or listened to just a couple hours. The story moves along and you just might forget you’re reading a business book.
It was written by David S. Duncan, Clayton Christensen’s co-author on Competing Against Luck. (ie: a founding father of Jobs to Be Done)
In a way, it’s sort of a modern, fresh, Jobs to Be Done version of the business school classic The Goal, which is a novel from the 80s about finding bottlenecks in factory operations.
The Secret Lives of Customers: A Detective Story about Solving the Mystery of Customer Behavior a book by David S. Duncan
Demand-Side Sales
The other book is from another one of the founding fathers of Jobs to Be Done, Bob Moesta: Demand-Side Sales.
It frames JTBD from a sales perspective and works through how to apply several concepts mentioned in Deploy Empathy – The Timeline, functional/social/emotional, and the Forces Diagram – to sales context.
People have continually told me that the sample interview is one of the most unique and useful parts of Deploy Empathy and that they wish there were more examples of customer interviews. To my absolute delight, Demand-Side Sales includes THREE sample interviews! And they’re all broken down by the Timeline, functional/social/emotional, and the forces.
I do unfortunately have to recommend it with caveats. The book is written from a sales perspective and is critical of marketing. Sometimes it’s fair, and sometimes it goes a bit too far. I got the sense that he’s worked with a lot of traditional marketing departments who only use demographics rather than JTBD, and who maybe weren’t super receptive to this outsider coming in with this new way of doing their work. At times, it almost punches down on marketers and marketing. I think that’s unfair, and there are a lot of in-the-know marketers using Jobs to Be Done; Adrienne Barnes comes to mind, for example, for her JTBD-driven buyer personas.
Putting that aside, this book still belongs on everyone’s shelf. If you’re struggling with sales, Demand-Side Sales + Never Split the Difference is the combo you need to get out of your rut.
Demand-Side Sales 101: Stop Selling and Help Your Customers Make Progress a book by Bob Moesta and Greg Engle
While you're on Amazon anyway...
Perhaps you’re buying from Bookshop, your local bookstore, or Amazon. If you happen to be over on Amazon anyway, could you leave a review of Deploy Empathy (.com or on your local version of choice)?
I’m slowly inching my way out of my safe little community of indie SaaS on the podcast book tour, and will be on some bigger shows in the coming month. Amazon reviews are how many people make decisions on whether a book is legitimate and worth getting, and I’d like to get about 20 reviews before I really bring this book into the wider world. It’s currently at 13. Do you think you could help?
Even a few lines about why you bought the book or what you’re hoping it can help you do would go a long way to spreading the word! Sometimes pictures speak louder than words, and several people have posted pictures of the book full of Post-It notes or bringing as their reading on a camping trip.
PS: sample the audiobook
This week’s episode of Software Social is a sample of the audiobook, which I’m releasing as a weekly private podcast as I record it. The sample is the first few chapters of How to Talk So People Will Talk.
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Deploy Empathy
Deploy Empathy @mjwhansen

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