- Paperback: 276 pages
- Publisher: Crown Business; Reprint edition (May 16, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0517883708
- ISBN-13: 978-0517883709
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #507,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ben & Jerry's: The Inside Scoop: How Two Real Guys Built a Business with a Social Conscience and a Sense of Humor Paperback – May 16, 1995
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From Library Journal
Can a business succeed if it is being run by someone who thinks a meeting is valuable when it produces good lines for his company-inspired screen play? Well, yes. In spite of a sometimes slapdash operation, a superior product and hard work save the day in the case of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. This presentation is not a guide for entrepreneurs. Rather, it is a case study of the problems an owner-operated company faces while evolving into a large corporation. Ben and Jerry have tried, with difficulties, to implement their liberal social agenda through the business. For example, they buy some food products through a company operated by homeless persons. The account is interesting rather than educational and may appeal more to Ben & Jerry's ice cream lovers than businesspersons. Reader Joseph Campanella narrates well. Recommended for public libraries in areas where Ben & Jerry's products have a high profile.
Mark Guyer, Stark Cty. Dist. Lib., Canton, Ohio
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
While Ben & Jerry's is one of the leading innovative and socially responsible businesses, this tale is as much an example to young entrepreneurs of what not to do as it is a model of exactly what to do. Lager, former CEO of Ben & Jerry's, was one of the company's early players, leaving in the 1990s, and he writes a captivating story about the $200 million, publicly traded enterprise, which originated in a rehabbed gas station where its founding fathers once ate saltines and sardines and slept on freezer chests all winter to be able to open by spring. Ben Cohen's dedication, marketing brilliance, and creativity and Jerry Greenfield's burnout, resignation from the company, and return are all faithfully documented, along with the dedication of the production workers to the ideal that has characterized Ben & Jerry's. Lager captures the sense of humor that kept the company going through rough times, but that humor dissipates into whining when the author reaches the years when he and Ben were at ideological odds. Those few chapters aside, this business history will be an inspiration to those struggling with their own young businesses as well as a great read for those who just love ice cream. Caroline Andrew --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's hard to resist a bowl or cone of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Cherry Garcia as you read this humorous show and tell of two guys who really want (and do) make a difference. You'll be ready to book a snow shoe tour of the Vermont plant by the time you finish reading about these guys' mission. Their values-led business (in addition to having fun) is to produce the best ice cream from Vermont dairy products, to increase the value of the of the company for the stockholders and create career opportunities and financial rewards for employees, and to improve the quality of life for the community. (They donate 7.5% of pretax profits to Ben & Jerry's Foundation that supports a variety of causes that improve the quality of life for children.)
I'm using this book as a project for an organizational communications course and enjoyed the reading (and eating) more than I ever expected. It was the most fun I've had doing homework!
There are things to learn about how Ben and Jerry developed their company:
1)They are geniuses at this. They actually figured out mass production without knowing what they were doing, they figured out marketing from scratch, they encountered financing and survived.
2)They had a near masochistic willingness to work. Boy did these guys work hard (it would kill me to do what they did, even if I had the will to do it).
3)They could adapt incredibly.
4) and finally: There are pitfalls and prices to trying to make social profits and business profits at the same time and to not planning your company to be as big as it already is.
You can learn about businesses in their growth phase from this book. You can learn about making sure a company has sufficient controls in place for its size. You may be able to learn whether you have what it takes to be an entrepeneur.
The first 3/4th of the book were fun to read but for some reason the last couple of chapters, when Ben and Jerry were playing less of a part in the business, were slow and boring (I don't exactly know why but I know they dragged).
Before reading this book I had never tried Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. After reading the book I did try their ice cream and what an ice cream it is.
I would recommend this book to all the Ben and Jerry Ice Cream eaters out there
and to the non ice cream eaters too.
And if you are just starting out in a small business, pick up a copy of this book and you will see how long it takes to make a company big and then what to do when it gets big. Always remember your people (employees) !!!