In this book Bernadette Jiwa explores doing meaning work in today’s changed business landscape. She does an awesome of exploring the importance of understanding customers and their needs before conceptualising cool innovations ideas.

Bernadette makes a case that marketing [and innovation] starts with the customer’s story, and that the job of entrepreneurs and marketers is to “compete for meaning.

We don’t change the world by starting with our brilliant ideas, our dreams; we change the world by helping others to live their dreams.

It’s about finding ways to create meaning and making people feel something, rather than making them do what you want them to do in the short term.

Making a connection with your audience is critical. You might have the best innovation on the market, and you might even have all the right content to back up your claim, but your content cannot rely solely on facts, stats or even benefits alone.

If you fail to make an emotional connection with your customers, to tell the story that illustrates value, you will never quite reach your potential.

It is not about you, but about your customers. It starts with them, their emotions, needs, fears and desires.



This is my first Bernadette Jiwa’s book and I’m blown away by how she takes complex issues and simplify them.

I rate this book highly for giving me a perspective on how I should be looking at creating stuff, no matter how small it may be.

I recommend this book to entrepreneurs and companies creating new products,.

The mix of customers and innovation is a key focus for the book and how those two concepts can be used to change the life of the people that use your products or services.

It is a simple and straightforward book without hectic marketing or business theories. Bernadette uses examples of companies that we know and love.

Favourite Quotes

  • “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.”
  • “Innovation is a by-product of empathy.”
  • “Giving a damn is seriously underrated and caring is a competitive advantage.”
  • “Our task is to read things that are not yet on the page. — Steve Jobs”
  • “Our customers are more than just passive consumers of our products and services. They are partners, co-creators, patrons, advocates, evangelists, collaborators and community members.”
  • “What companies and entrepreneurs sometimes forget is that the purpose of innovation is not simply to make new, improved products and services; it is to make things that are meaningful to the people who use them.”
  • “The value isn’t just in the data that businesses collect. What counts is how they use it to make our lives better.”
  • “The purpose of innovation is not simply to make new, improved products and services; it is to make things that are meaningful to the people who use them.”
  • “Success is not what you make, but the difference that it makes in people’s lives.”
  • “Code is easy, people are hard. It often takes the best engineers the longest to realize this.”

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