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Stone Soup: The Secret Recipe for Making Something from Nothing Paperback – December 16, 2009

27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Pouring everything I could give into Stone Soup was a labour of love supporting a mission to give everyone who cared to try the very best tools to make a difference in this tiny world we all share.
One of the surprises for me though was how much I came to love the characters that I created and they, to this day, walk the halls of my mind. Stone soup is both a gateway to powerful action and a good yarn and in a way the sacrifices of Ruby and her family mirror what it can take to make a real difference.
Thanks Ruby.

About the Author

There are three things I am most proud of in the world.
My three adorable children Willow Rose, Riley and Liam
CoderDojo - A global collaboration providing open free learning to kids around the world who wish to learn the magic of computer programming in a social way.
WeForest - A global charity that empowers women in developing nations to restore Blanche to the planet by combatting global warming through the mass sustainable planting of forest trees.
Some of the magic of Stone Soup is in all three.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Bookshaker; 1st edition (December 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905430973
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905430970
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,057,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Optimism, love it. It has been said that optimists invent airplanes and pessimists invent parachutes and I am happy that there is a place in the world for everyone and I am personally an unapologetic optimist.

Optimism that has lead me and it will be optimism that lets us heal our planet which is why I founded to reforest Earth.

Please follow me on Twitter as I regularly share what I find cool, interesting and optimistic in the world especially about entrepreneurialism and the environment. My Twitter handle is @liaonet

There is an urgent need for kids to learn the magic of computer programming please view and please join and see if you can contribute.

What I stand for is a world that works for all living things and I have distilled everything I have learned about starting up something new into Stone Soup - the secret recipe for making something from nothing.

Messages and language are vitally important and my new book "what the Tweet?" is all about how to make funny messages that stick. Also see

Bill Liao

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Dewalt on January 19, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A funny thing happened when I started my first company. After 6 months of hard work, we asked each other why we joined the venture. It was a particularly relevant question in 1999 because talent was extremely scarce and this team was top-notch. The answer seemed obvious to me: we all joined to build something great and change the world.

But that wasn't the answer most provided. The primary reason people joined the venture was my enthusiasm.

If had Stone Soup in my hands a decade ago I would have understood exactly why. Our company was a boiling pot of water in the center of the village and I had added the first two ingredients for Stone Soup, the recipe for innovation:

One generous portion of belief
One or more enthusiastic catalysts

Like an aroma that drifts through a village from a boiling cauldron, these first two ingredients were enough to attract them.

And, with the benefit of a decade of reflection, I also understand why my own shortcomings, and the world at large ultimately lead to the venture's downfall: we were missing a few other critical ingredients like "A triple dose of reality", and "One well defined context, communicated well."

Stone Soup isn't for the "quick buck" entrepreneurs or investors who view innovation as numbers in a spreadsheet. It is for people who are committed, through ups and downs, to figuring out the recipe from making something from nothing. It is for those of us who are trying to understand how innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity fit into our lives and relationships.

In the book we experience the life of Ruby who - not unlike Bill Liao - is a true renaissance person with the skills and passion to change the world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Slevin VINE VOICE on November 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
Using the Irish Story "Stone Soup" this book by that title goes on to write a story of a woman named Ruby, whose life is challenged in oh so many ways. Ruby becomes for many of us who read this a vision of what can be done in the face of major obstacles in our lives.

The basic gist of "Stone Soup" as a story and a book is making something happen where there is dearth. I told a friend of mine the Irish tale and he was astounded at the impact that one can truly have if each of us just tries to make a difference.

Ruby you find is a misfit in her own world, down trodden and disliked. Eventually, she is cast away into other worlds, but keeping the story of "Stone Soup" near to her heart she impacts everywhere she goes and everyone she touches in the most positive of ways. Her world, like ours, is stagnated, challenged, with walls and other things to keep people from each other and from a way through to mutual prosperity and growth.

In many ways it seems our author has lived this in his life and look what he has done, creating jobs for thousands and granting opportunity for many more who wish to start a business venture. Bill gives us a recipe at the end of the book to have "Stone Soup" in no matter what environment we find ourselves. He also offers a reward of sorts, an initial investment for someone or anyone who has a business idea that resonates with him. You see, he is practicing the story of "Stone Soup" by beginning the process that can make success for people who wish to work.

Throughout the story he gives us anecdotes to address things in our personal and business lives. There are pithy sayings like 'invent your future,' or 'no one can achieve success alone,' and the like. He gives us hints looking at differences positively.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
Stone Soup-
The Secret Recipe For Making Something from Nothing
Published by Bookshaker. com 2010
Author- Bill Liao the Co-founder of Xing

Reviewed by : Dr. Joseph S. Maresca

The book builds from a simple set of ingredients to a
considerable soup. Herein lies the stuff of the title
"Stone Soup". The presentation is folksy in places with
stories of ordinary people like Sister Dorothy.

We are urged to look for the best and help it bloom.
All endings are beginnings. Logically, this statement
makes sense because an ending necessitates that we seek
to do something else. Another pearl of wisdom is that
complex workable systems are derived from
simpler workable systems. By implication, a complex
system should not be derived from itself unless there
are simpler and smaller workable subsystems.
Is any part of this theory our problem with the oil
spill in the Gulf ?

There are corollaries to these statements on systems.
That is, never build a system or process that cannot
be turned off. Following logically,
a system or process should operate ; such that, the servicing
is uncomplicated and the downtime kept to a minimum.

I like the reference to Franz Kafka which states that
" Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind the
slime of a new bureaucracy."
The statement conjures up the theoretic rationale for anarchy.
Then again, how do major projects get done without some form of
social organization and management ? Adam Smith attested
to the need for management in the Wealth of Nations.

At some point, the author constructs an alphabet soup of advice
called " Stone Soup".
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