the Method Method: Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down by Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry

Rate:  ****

Read: Cover to cover

Category: Branding, Entreprenerial

Twitter Review:  Build a product that has value, and don’t let anyone stop you.

Who doesn’t love a David and Goliath story?  This is a miraculous adventure taken by two guys, Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry who decided to take on one of the toughest, most entrenched  industries imaginable – cleaning products for the home – Goliath indeed.   An industry that has a hundred year start, tens of thousands of employees plus millions of loyal customers.  What did they have?  An idea, a car and a belief that the world could be a better place if cleaning products not only worked great, but could be good for the environment, smell nice, look nice and, wait for it – cleaning could be an enjoyable experience?  What were they smoking?  I love the quotation of the back of the book by their parents, “We’re still in shock that two kids who couldn’t even make their beds without groaning would go on to start a cleaning company.”  What many saw as entrepreneurial suicide, they saw as an opportunity.  They looked at the size and power of these behemoths, and they countered with speed and agility.  They fought the giants with imagination, engagement, groundbreaking innovation and created a culture.  They also identified a tribe and a small niche market who maybe, just maybe, would love what they love.  This book is their story.  Full of heroics and failures, of genius and ignorance.  But more than just a tale of their unlikely success, this book is full of how they did it, why they did it, and just like their brand, they want to help you with specifics of building a brand that makes a difference, warts and all.  Oh, by the way.  I just purchased my first Method environmentally friendly dishwashing soap, and doggoneit, I feel a bit better about myself. Go figure.

My Takeaway

Although this book has a lot to do with the retail/wholesale sector, the backstory of selling their products out of the back of their trunk and growing the biz is a universally entrepreneurial one.  It took them ten years of experience before they wrote this book – and it is the quintessential idea of having a value based business – regardless of what product or service (or idea) you sell that in the end, will get you where you want to go if you start from an authentic and value based place; if the core of your brand is the values that drive it – not money, not growth for just market share, not by intimidation – but by plugging away at design, esthetics, and by building a culture internally that spread to the marketplace. Well written, engaging, easy and delightful to read, with some extraordinary concepts that entrepreneurs, freelancers, independents and small business could all benefit from.

Elaine Joli

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