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Start Something That Matters (2011)

by Blake Mycoskie

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
There are certainly parts of the Tom's story that are uplifting and inspirational, and Blake manages to keep the gushy over-the-top-save-the-children stuff to a minimum. The interesting parts detail the struggles the company had and case studies from other do-good for-profits. However, he does seem to gloss over quite a few lucky breaks that put a rocket boost behind the initial success of Tom's. The saying "It's not what you know, it's Who you know that matters" definitely plays here. Not to mention a workforce of unpaid interns. Overall an easy read, his main thesis is good but slim (I'm sure it would have many business school professors spinning at their lecterns). Very self-centered focus when discussing customer and employee interactions with the "mission" - the free shoes play second fiddle to the "life-changing experiences" of the shoe-droppers (without any discussion of sustainable local support or aid besides foot coverings). ( )
  svdodge | Aug 7, 2013 |
(14) ( )
  activelearning | Feb 2, 2013 |
Start Something that Matters is the story of Tom’s Shoes Founder Blake Mycoskie, and his One to One initiative to provide a pair of shoes to a child in need for each one sold. In addition to detailing the formation of and inspiration for the company, it is a how-to book for starting your own “something”. Mycoskie, and co-writer Gene Stone, share the details of Toms Shoes unique business model - a for-profit company that has charity built into its operating system, not as an after thought for public relations or tax benefits, and one that trusts and empowers its employees. It is an inspirational read as the authors challenge the reader to “Commit to seeing the world through the lens of how you can initiate meaningful change.” Even if we can’t all start up a business, Mycoskie reminds us that we can all change the way we think about these issues. In keeping with Tom’s one-to-one initiative, for each book sold, Random House is donating a book to a child in need through Firstbook.org. ( )
  Lindsay_W | Feb 2, 2013 |
Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie recounts the birth of his company, TOMS Shoes. He wanted to combine a for-profit company with a social mission. Mycoskie started with very little money, but a vision and a lot of dedication. His idea was simple: sell a pair of shoes, give away a pair of shoes. He found craftsmen to manufacture traditional Argentine shoes, and sold them in the U.S. The sales price covered the price of a second pair to be donated to underprivileged children in poor countries.
It is a touching tale of starting a business with a conscience. Mycoskie’s main point, however, is that we can make a difference. Rather than instruct people on the nitty-gritty of how to start a business, the book is meant to inspire everyone. Mycoskie’s conversational style and personal stories suit the purpose.
EJ 10/2012
  PeskyLibrary | Oct 1, 2012 |
Written by the founder of TOMS shoes, this conversational book outlines the story of the company's humble start as well as the stories of other companies making a difference.

It reads fairly quickly, but leaves a lasting impression. I definitely recommend it. ( )
  nasagirl | Aug 22, 2012 |
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Epigraph
SUCCESS

To laugh often and love much
To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children

To earn the appreciation of honest critics
endure the betrayal of false friends

To appreciate beauty
To find the best in others
To leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition

To know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.

[Often attributed to Elizabeth-Anne Anderson Stanley]
Dedication
To my parents, Mike and Pam Mycoskie

Noe of this would have been possible without your
unconditional love and your never-ending support
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Book description
In Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie tells the story of founding TOMS, one of the fastest-growing young companies in the world, and combines it with lessons learned from such innovative organizations as Zappos, charity: water, FEED Projects, method, and TerraCycle, among others. Blake presents the six simple keys for creating or transforming your own life and business, from discovering your core story to being resourceful without resources; from overcoming fear and doubt to incorporating giving into every aspect of your life.
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Known as the founder of TOMS Shoes and as a contestant on The Amazing Race, Mycoskie uses his experience with TOMS, as well as interviews with leaders of non-profits and corporations, to convey valuable lessons about entrepreneurship, transparency of leadership, and living by one's values… (more)

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