Starts Something That Matters

July 21, 2013

In the beginning of the year, I've promised myself that I will read at least one book a month. Fast forward to 7 months later, I think I've only managed to read 4-5 books; The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom, Menembus Zaman - a memoir about Pia Alisjahbana, Kocok by Nadya Mulya & Joy Roesma, Rework by Jason Fried..I forgot what's the other one. Or maybe there's only 4? Anyway, so the point is I'm behind on keeping up with my books and the stack of books in my waiting-to-be-read queue is getting higher. Next up is Lean in by Sheryl Sandberg.

So this book is a borrowed from Nopai, I don't usually borrow books. I like to have my own :D. But I've never seen this in the local bookstore and Nopai just finished reading it, so it's just less hassle to borrow. 
This book is about Blake journey in starting and making TOMS, the shoes brand, as big as it is now. I don't own a pair yet but now that I've read the phenomenon and the huge impact it has given, I'm considering buying the wedges so I can contribute in giving a pair of shoes for a child in need :'). 

TOMS story that is written in the book is a proof that you can make something out of a very limited resource. When you have a good thing going on, when you have a mission to change the world, everyone from all corner of the world will be willing to lend a hand. Everyone likes to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Without its awe inspiring story, TOMS shoes would be just another shoes. That's how important story is to a brand nowadays, people need to be touched emotionally, hearts need to be reached otherwise it's easy to be forgotten because that's what differentiate you from the one next door.

Another thing I like about the book is it provides many out of the box study case from other businesses. And at the end of the book, it also provides discussion topics. Some things from the study case that I find interesting:
  • Netflix no longer has vacation or sick policies. It believes that when you have the right employees, they won't take advantage of paid days off - they'll leave only when it makes the most sense for them to do so.
  • Semco, a company from Brazil allows employees to set their own salaries, which are then posted publicly. 
  • Zappos gives $3000 to any prospective employee who takes the company training but decides not to take a job in order to find committed employes. 98% refused the quick-cash offer and join the company. 
And there's many more!
Towards the end of the book, Blake emphasizes the word giving. Giving is a good business, he believes. And when he means by giving is not just giving money away, but actively involved in the movement, know where the money goes, meet the receivers, share the happiness. That's the only way to make it more fulfilling. Now Blake mission is to influence others to make giving a serious business. 

Another thing that I find very moving is Blake live with less story. But let's save that for another blog post. 

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  1. I'm reading Lean In... I think you would like it :-)

  2. I think I will, Irish. Sheryl is my idol :o). How far along are you?

  3. I'm halfway into the book. I wish I could absorb her mind!