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Start Something That Matters [Kindle Edition]

Blake Mycoskie
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $6.01 (43%)
Sold by: Random House LLC


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Book Description

The incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good.
“A creative and open-hearted business model for our times.”—The Wall Street Journal
Why this book is for you:
• You’re ready to make a difference in the world—through your own start-up business, a nonprofit organization, or a new project that you create within your current job.
• You want to love your work, work for what you love, and have a positive impact on the world—all at the same time.
• You’re inspired by charity: water, method, and FEED Projects and want to learn how these organizations got their start.
• You’re curious about how someone who never made a pair of shoes, attended fashion school, or worked in retail created one of the fastest-growing footwear companies in the world by giving shoes away.
• You’re looking for a new model of success to share with your children, students, co-workers, and members of your community.
You’re ready to start something that matters.

Editorial Reviews Review

A Letter from Author Blake Mycoskie

People often ask me what I consider my goal to be at TOMS. The truth is that it’s changed over the years. When we first began, the goal was to create a for-profit company to help the children that I met in a small village in Argentina. And that objective to give new shoes to children in need continues to be a powerful driver for me and everyone else at TOMS.

But recently my personal mission has changed. Today, I would say that my goal is to influence other people to go out into the world and have a positive impact, to inspire others to start something that matters, whether it’s a for-profit business or a nonprofit organization. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to share everything that we’ve learned from TOMS, so that others can learn from both our mistakes and the counterintuitive principles that have guided our success.

I would also like to share the stories of other social entrepreneurs, from all walks of life, who are taking that wonderful and courageous step forward, who are moving from thinking about doing something to actually doing it. Among many others, the leaders profiled in my book include Tony Hsieh (founder of Zappos), Scott Harrison (founder of charity: water), Lauren Bush (founder of FEED Projects), Eric Ryan & Adam Lowry (co-founders of method) and Tim Ferriss (author of The 4-Hour Workweek).

Like me, all of the people featured in the book faced insecurities and fear when first starting out. All of us bootstrapped with limited resources, and made countless mistakes along the way. After reading these stories of success, I hope that you’ll realize that you already have everything you need to get started. You don’t need a lot of money, a complicated business plan, or a great deal of experience to get your idea off the ground. What you absolutely must have, however, is the courage to take that first bold step forward….

For me, the ultimate success of this book will be measured not by how many copies it sells but by the number of people whom it inspires. Are you ready to start something that matters?

Carpe Diem,


“A creative and open-hearted business model for our times.”—The Wall Street Journal

Product Details

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 87 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book For Business Newbies August 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
If you find you have a bookshelf crammed with inspirational business books - you probably don't need to make room for this one.
Though if you are just starting on a road to self discovery, finding your niche, and need some motivation, this book is most definitively for you.
I love Tony Hsieh (Zappos) but found his book long, flat, bland - and I found Blake's book to be short, flat, bland (for someone that has a shelf of books crammed with business inspirational books).
I've come to the conclusion that brilliant founders of successful upstarts are much better at doing than writing.
If you've read Malcolm Gladwell, Seth Godin, Tom Peters, - doubtful you'll feel satisfed after reading this. If you aren't familiar with any of the authors I mentioned, then I think buying/reading this book is money and time well spent!
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring, Encouraging July 30, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
It is not necessary to be a serious student of current affairs to realize that most of the institutions in our society no longer work. Our governments at all levels are dysfunctional, spending more than they take in, more concerned with the welfare of government bureaucrats than the citizens they are supposed to serve. A close look at many of the larger charitable institutions reveals that administrative cost far exceed the money spent on the stated purpose of the organizations.

It is very easy to become discouraged and disillusioned with our society and the direction it seems to be heading in. But then I read Start Something That Matters and at least I think maybe there is some hope.

The story of TOMS is very inspirational. Starting with very little money but a lot of dedication and a vision for creating a dual purpose business - offering a unique product and providing free shoes to underprivileged children, the success has been exceptional.

The book uses the story of TOMS as a blueprint to inspire others and to show them how to go about starting something that matters. The book does not dwell on how inefficient most government and large organizations efforts are. Instead it focused on what worked for TOMS and a few other examples highlighted in the book.

At the heart of the TOMS model is transparency. There is an honest desire to help others. They did not use their charity as a means to gain free and/or favorable publicity. They kept the program simple, sell a pair of shoes, give away a pair of shoes.

The book gives some general guidelines for how to model your own program that matters.

The book is extremely short and very easy to read. I would have loved some more real life stories about the "shoe drops".
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, Love, Love This Book! August 4, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a parent, I have believed that there are two jobs I had other than providing the necessities for my children and that is to teach them that there are consequences to their actions and that they can make a difference in the world.
This book is all about that way of living. It's completely entrenched in Blake's life and in his corporate culture.
He donates one pair of shoes for every pair of Tom's shoes he sells. And he has made a huge difference in doing so.
He will show you how with plans large or small, you can make a difference in at least one person's life, and hence the world.
Every business leader, entrepreneur and thoughtful person should read this book. It forces you to look at ways you can and should do more.
It certainly gave me the push I needed to change how I was running my business.
I loved this book. You will too!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Attitude Is Everything September 1, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I enjoyed this book; I was truthfully looking for a book to help get me out of my rut and start something that mattered. I was a little worried when I realized that for the most part (95%) is about starting a BUSINESS that matters. If you aren't looking to start a business, then you may want to check this book out of the library.

However, the positivity of this book is amazing. I wish my employers had the attitude and caring that Mycoskie and those few rare employers that really do care about their product and their employees have.

Mycoskie tells about how he started his business called TOMS and what he did to get it where it is now. The difference between this business and most others? He started it to give back to the world, shoes for children - well anyone that needs them. Buy a pair, he donates a pair.

He also writes about how a company really needs to be like a family (my POV) that no one person is more important than the other and everyone needs to trust and work together. You have to trust your employees and in return they will trust you.

He tells about his keys, and other CEO's keys, to success and ways to give back to society and why we should too.

So, since I'm not starting a business what do I think of it? I actually would recommend people read it. Why? Because it makes you think. If you're stuck in a rut (like I was) then change it, you have the power to. Better yet, change it by helping others.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book was recommended by a fellow entrepreneur and has great insights and stories to inspire one to success in life and business
Published 3 days ago by StevenE Roth
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspired
Beautiful story, Blake does not spoon feed you bulleted reference points in how to succeed and make money; instead, he provides real life examples and stories from his own... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Joseph
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely influential
By Blake sharing his journey, the positive and the negative, has motivated me to find the need that will catapult me into creating effective change.
Published 12 days ago by Obdulia Oliva
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read!!
Highly recommended for motivated entrepreneurs, or those who are less than motivated and need an inspirational boost! I loved it.
Published 23 days ago by Nicole LoPresti
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational!
I love that a simple thought turned into a National movement. Blake's story is interesting and heartwarming. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Playdo
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative Quick Read
I liked this book, some really great business/entrepreneurial lessons. It was easy to read and was set up well to keep the reader engaged. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alyssa Franklin
5.0 out of 5 stars ABSOLUTELY INSPIRING!
By far one of the best books I have ever read. Truly inspiring to hear his story and the stories of other incredible entrepreneurs. Definitely a recommendation for everyone!!!
Published 1 month ago by brittany
5.0 out of 5 stars inspiring!
This is my second time through the book. I found it just as inspiring as the first time. The message here is to go out and start something, anything that matters. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ken Hopwood
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
Blake speaks in plain English and his book helps you understand what drove toms success. The breakthroughs and thr mistakes. Read more
Published 1 month ago by great read
4.0 out of 5 stars very positive read
it has a great message and was fun to read. I hope more businesses pop up with a social conscience.
Published 1 month ago by lilian boukheir
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