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Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently--And Succeeding [Hardcover]

Seth Goldman , Barry Nalebuff , Sungyoon Choi
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 15.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

25 Oct 2013
In an incredibly fun and accessible two-color graphic-book format, the cofounders of Honest Tea tell the engaging story of how they created and built a mission-driven business, offering a wealth of insights and advice to entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and millions of Honest Tea drinkers about the challenges and hurdles of creating a successful business--and the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving.

Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff began Honest Tea fifteen years ago with little more than a tea leaf of an idea and a passion to offer organic, freshly brewed, lightly sweetened bottled tea. Today Honest Tea is a rapidly expanding national brand sold in more than 100,0000 grocery stores, restaurants, convenience stores and drugstores across the country. The brand has flourished as American consumers move toward healthier and greener lifestyles.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Dell Publishing Group, Div of Random House, Inc (25 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0770437494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0770437497
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76,061 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Manga for Management 30 Sep 2013
By David Wineberg TOP 1000 REVIEWER
When I agreed to review this book, I naturally assumed it would be a straightforward business book, an everyday thing for me. When I got it and it turned out to be nearly 300 pages of comics - or graphic format as it's now called - I immediately thought much less of it.

Reading it however, converted me. From a starting point below the line, I came to appreciate Mission In A Bottle as being effective, affective and mostly, unforgettable. Three things the typical business tome is not.

It is the story of the first decade of Honest Tea, from backing into the idea, to leveraging its future with Coca-Cola - while working very hard to live up to Honest. There are innumerable lessons along the way, and unlike so much in the business press, they are very real, very possible and very human. They are constantly stepping off cliffs into the unknown. The partners' decisions had real implications and often, real consequences. Their thought processes are a revelation. They put themselves on the line every day.

All that comes through clearly, possibly even because of the graphic format. They were very lucky at a number of critical junctures, so they stayed corporately alive as the losses piled up. (I don't think I've read a business book or biography where luck wasn't acknowledged. This one more than most. For all the shelves of management theory, luck takes first place.)

Among the inevitable aphorisms to live by, two stuck with me:
The problem with most great business ideas is they are a great idea for someone else, not you. (Replaces the worn out Stick To Your Knitting.)
Those who say it cannot be done should not interrupt the people doing it. (Chinese proverb, proving there is nothing new under the sun.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  50 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story Done In An Entertaining Way 16 Sep 2013
By Alex B. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book tells an amazing and seemingly unknown story of how Honest Tea came to be on of the premier cold tea new age beverages on the market. From a consumer standpoint, it's fascinating to see how this product got on the shelf and became a sensation. From an ENTREPRENEURIAL standpoint, it is even more intriguing and inspiring.

It walks you through with beautiful illustrations of all the conversations, creative brainstorming, essential events and meetings, and even a near death experience that leads to the eventual success of Honest Tea. Truly inspiring and also gives a person insight into starting a business, and bringing a product to market. Definitely a quick read and very unique in its approach to telling a great story.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best business book I've found for one big reason... 10 Sep 2013
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
As a serial entrepreneur, I've been trying to encourage my son to learn a little more about business and what we do - to little avail. Within minutes of opening my package, my 15 year old son (who I admit does not like to read, much prefers his Xbox) asked if he could see the book when he saw the format over my shoulder. A few minutes later he was curled up reading it. A business book that could actually be interesting to a teenager? On his own initiative? Congrats, Seth and Barry, for writing a great story!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Honestly insightful book for the HonesTEA company 7 Sep 2013
By Christos Cabolis - Published on Amazon.com
Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff's book is a pure joy to read. The authors approach the difficult and complex topic of developing and establishing a company in a most eloquent and imaginative way. Using the graphic-novel format they take the reader from the initial steps of forming the idea, to founding the company, raising funds, increasing the size of sales and range of products, to establishing the Honest Tea brand in the very competitive beverage industry.

The innovative, expressive and, at times, quite personal touch, along with Goldman and Nalebuff's subtle jokes and intelligent humor make the book a fascinating read. I particularly liked the "Lessons learned..." segments. Within few pages the authors were able to outline the issues for each stage of the company's development. Entrepreneurs both seasoned and aspiring, students of business strategy as well as people who just want to get a glimpse of "what it takes to build a business" will find the book captivating and enlightening.

There are two powerful lessons that I take from the book. First, that one does not necessarily need to compromise one's values and beliefs in order to succeed in the business world. And second, that there is nothing so practical as a good economic theory.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HONEST perspective of entrepreneurship 16 Dec 2013
By Julie B - Published on Amazon.com
I'm so happy I didn't realize this was a 'graphic novel' b/c I wouldn't have bought it, which would have been my loss. The book reads quickly without fluff. As a budding entrepreneur with a similar mission ( real food for tube-fed people: [...] reading this book made me feel like I had a co-founder for a little bit, someone to share stories, ideas, worries and dreams with. It also made me so happy once again that we don't want (or need) retail distribution! THANK YOU!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Business Read (If Your Kids Don't Steal It) 24 Sep 2013
By Jesse Lahey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
One of my favorite topics is how business can be a force for good in our world. This is an amazing story of a startup business in what some would have called an over-saturated market ... bottled ice tea. Honest Tea took on Snapple and other big players because they had a vision that would make a difference in people's lives. Fast forward 10 years later, they were bought by Coke but kept pursuing that mission, and now 3 years later they are still living out their original mission despite being owned by a mega-corporation. This is the story of how Barry Nalebuff, Seth Goldman, and the team at Honest Tea have succeeded in leading a for-profit business as a vehicle for change ... and the many lessons they learned along the way.

Barry and Seth wanted to make a difference in the world. Barry was in the education sector; his partner Seth started out in the nonprofit and government sectors. They discovered that business can be an even more powerful tool for change. Of course, if the business doesn't thrive, you won't have any impact.

I was skeptical of the comic-style format ... would this be a serious business book that I could learn from? From the first few pages, I knew the answer was YES. The comic format made the book a fast, engaging read, but I still got a ton of practical, inspiring information from the book.

I should say it WOULD have been a fast read if my kids hadn't kept "borrowing" it from me before I had a chance to finish it. The comic format appealed to them and has been a great way to introduce key business and economic principles. I later asked my 13-year-old son to explain "marginal utility" (a concept I didn't learn until microeconomics class in college), and he still remembered it!

This is a book entrepreneurs should read before launching their business. This is a book current business leaders should read to take their business to the next level. And it's a book that parents should buy for their kids to help them learn life-long principles about business, economics, and living a purpose. Most of all, it's a book everyone should read to be reminded about the opportunity of for-profit businesses to change lives and communities for the better.
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