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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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For a limited time, get one of 100 best-selling Marvel graphic novels on Kindle with the purchase of a hardcover or paperback graphic novel. Read it in Guided View on Kindle or comiXology! Offer expires June 16, 2017. Restrictions apply. See Terms and Conditions.
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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
“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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Top Customer Reviews
Entrepreneurship students (I teach both entrepreneurship and strategy on an MBA program) would do well to read this book very carefully, as much for what the authors do not say about the entrepreneurial adventure. I told Barry that i was likely to use the book as a set text on my course next year. So I must have liked it a lot.
There are so many theories of entrepreneurship and for every one there are examples of its disproof, While I do make some general statements about what works, each case is different. That's what makes Mission in a Bottle so appealing, because the reader can draw on very specific case material, and realize that, for example, the issues in soft drink distribution do not apply in other sectors, but the 'moral' of the story can still be drawn.
I wish I had read Mission in a Bottle before I wrote my ebook, Telling StartUp Stories: Keep the End in Mind, since Mission in a Bottle is one of the best examples of startup storytelling I have ever encountered.
I found the graphic novel format to be a much more approachable format to tell their story. The art was well-done, and used to enhance the story with visuals, but not in any way distracting. This is not the type of book I normally read, but due to its uniqueness compared to other business books, I was intrigued. This book has helped me understand the day-to-day struggles of being an entrepreneur, and about the rewards for the ones who can overcome them.
Highly recommend it for upcoming entrepreneurs and young, impressionable minds who enjoy graphic novels. I believe the best way to get a child to read this, is to read it in front of them, and let their curiosity get the best of them.
The book is written in graphic novel form, and the text is too small to read. On my iPhone, the book is completely unreadable. On my kindle, you are able to enlarge the image panels by double tapping them, however the smaller text is still too small to read.
I managed to slog through half the book, skipping over most of the text and mostly just looking at the pictures. The only thing I have to show for the experience is sore eyes. Complete waste of time.
Fast forward to 2014 and they are now owned by Coca-Cola, but still focused on being a company for change- organic teas, fair trade labor standards, and a culture that promotes doing the right thing along with being profitable. They didn't shortchange their values for a quick dollar.
What the authors manage to do is tell that story in an amazingly enjoyable way. Yes, there are struggles, mistakes, moments when the future of the company is on the brink. But it's told in such a way that it becomes a page turning 'mystery' instead of a dry, dull business book.
The graphic novel format the authors chose makes it even more enjoyable to read and the graphics are beautiful and only add to the story.
Don't be fooled by the beautiful artwork- this is a real business book with hard learned lessons, failures, successes, tough choices and everything that makes a great business success story.
If you're not familiar with the Honest Tea line of products- find some. If you're not familiar with the decade long story of 'the little tea company that could'- read this book and enjoy.
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.