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Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently--and Succeeding Hardcover – September 3, 2013


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Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently--and Succeeding + Get Big Fast and Do More Good: Start Your Business, Make It Huge, and Change the World + How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Business (September 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0770437494
  • ISBN-13: 978-0770437497
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Nalebuff and his former student, Goldman, founded Honest Tea—a beverage company offering organic, freshly brewed, lightly sweetened bottled tea—which survived and succeeded to become an independent unit of Coca-Cola. Their aim was to establish a brand that would capitalize on the movement in the U.S. toward healthier, greener lifestyles—a mission-driven business in a highly competitive industry. The story is told in three parts, Start-Up, Growing Pains, and A Brand Emerges, with a thought-provoking set of Lessons Learned after each section. The book is rich in tips and instructions using an engaging graphic-novel format for generations of comic-book enthusiasts among entrepreneurs, would-be entrepreneurs, and customers. This is detailed advice stemming from the authors’ 15-year adventure, during which their setbacks could have brought down a similarly situated company. Goldman and Nalebuff explain how we survived our mistakes and bad luck to still be around when the good fortune arose. A timely book for a wide range of library patrons. --Mary Whaley

Review

“Stories of American business start-ups are a dime a dozen, which makes margins on them very thin. This might be why this graphic book about Honest Tea from its co-founders Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff feels like their products – a little unsweetened and, well, honest.” - Financial Times

“Seth and Barry have translated the wild, often lonely entrepreneural adventure into a delightfully candid and accessible read for anyone interested in starting or growing a business. Like their beautiful drinks, this book is refreshingly honest.”
—Gary Hirshberg, Co-founder and Chairman, Stonyfield Farm
                                        
“If you run a business, work for a business, want to know how business works, or are thinking of starting a business, READ THIS BOOK! It’s a great story, and the good guys win.”
—Andrew Tobias, The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need

"The honest voices of Seth and Barry coupled with the humanity of each scene drew me in and made it easy to read this brilliant business book disguised as a comic. A must-read for budding or well-rooted entrepreneurs—or really anyone interested in what happens behind the scenes at a start-up. I loved it!"
—Shazi Visram, Founder and CEO of Happy Family
 
"When Seth left Calvert to launch Honest Tea, I was puzzled how a bottled tea venture could be so meaningful. Now I know. Mission in a Bottle is a courageous, engaging, and frank story around his inspiring example of social entrepreneurship. I read it in one sitting."
—Wayne Silby, Founding Chair, Calvert Funds

“Seth and Barry have crafted a rich and compelling story and told it with the perfect blend of inspiration and humility. For anybody who has started a business—and especially those considering an entrepreneurial path—MISSION IN A BOTTLE is a must-read.”
—Daniel Pink, author of To Sell is Human and Drive

An utterly engrossing story of the frustrations and ecstasies involved in transforming a simple idea into a hugely successful bsuiness. Anyone who has ever been curious about the inner-workings of a start-up will find this intimate account both refreshing and--need it be said?--honest.
- Joshua Foer, author of Moonwalking with Einstein

 

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Customer Reviews

I'm dissatisfied with the reading experience I got from my kindle paperwhite.
Min Thura Soe
Overall, an honestly good read and one that I would recommend for those looking to start a business, especially one in the F&B industry.
AL
That's what Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, cofounders of Honest Tea, explain in the graphic novel business book Mission in a Bottle.
GraphicNovelReporter.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alex B. on September 16, 2013
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Chris on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Lahey on September 24, 2013
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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie B on December 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christos Cabolis on September 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Beardwood on December 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
A ripping tale of behind-the-scenes action for a start-up that we all know is successful in the end. Given that the outcome is a foregone conclusion, it's surprising to read how hard Seth and Barry had to fight for Honest Tea to get distribution, to get packaged and to get funded. It's an inspirational book for any entrepreneur facing tough odds and has great tips at the end. I've already given it to two young people who are in the early days of business.
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