Most of us nowadays know TOMS and their famous One-for-One business model. For every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS gives away a pair of shoes to a child in need. More recently, they have branched out to sunglasses, still using the One-for-One by providing eye glasses and corrective surgeries for every purchase. Even this book is a One-for-One! In Blake Mycoskie’s book Start Something That Matters, Blake walks us through his start-up process with TOMS and gives incredible insight into the evolving business world.
As a student of the Eller College of Management, I appreciate his honesty and integrity which he places in his business model. The norm of business school is profit making, efficiency and strategic movements to benefit (you guessed it) profit and efficiency. However, Blake’s model suggests these aren’t always the right way to do business.
Blake puts forth some simple suggestions to building better businesses: find your story, face fear, be resourceful, pursue simplicity, build trust and give. His suggestions are perfection. With every picture he gives and every example he tells, I can see myself working for a business like that and I hear the pleasure he takes from all that he has seen and experienced. Now I don’t have time, nor do I wish to ruin the book for those who will eventually read it, but I do want to talk about the last of his challenges: giving.
Giving is powerful in many ways. It helps retain employees, because really who doesn’t want to work for a company that is giving back to the world? And truly, it’s godly. Business isn’t, and shouldn’t be, all about the numbers. Businesses have an enormous impact on our world, so why not impact it for the better?
Honestly, this was the first business book I could pick up, read through quickly and not feel slimy by the end. And that’s saying something.