The Method Method
Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-up Turn an Industry Upside Down
ISBN 9781101516096 | 272 pages | 15 Sep 2011 | Portfolio | 18 - AND UP
Summary of The Method Method Summary of The Method Method Reviews for The Method Method An Excerpt from The Method Method
When childhood friends Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry decided to go into business together, they realized they didn't just want to design a new version of someone else's product. They wanted to reinvent an entire category-one that had hardly changed in decades. After months of searching for the right idea, they settled on, of all things, cleaning products."Eric and Adam are poster boys for the adage that the best way to predict the future is to invent it. Their content-packed saga will inspire entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs to realize that businesses really can create a cleaner and more beautiful world."
If any consumer goods category needed a makeover, this was surely it. The dominant companies had been on top for more than a century and had bamboozled consumers into believing that the smell of bleach is the smell of clean and harsh toxic chemicals are the only means to a healthy home. And because cleaning is a chore, products should come in ugly, bulky packages - difficult to use and unpleasant to look at.
But what if people had products they actually enjoyed cleaning their homes and doing laundry with? What if those products not only worked great but also smelled nice and were safe for the environment? What if they came in beautiful bottles? What if doing chores could actually be fun?
Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry used $90,000 in capital (their combined life savings plus some loans from friends and families) to launch Method in 2001. In the early days, when they were selling surface cleaner out of the trunk of their car, it seemed crazy that they were competing with global conglomerates. But despite those modest beginnings and the overwhelming odds against a newcomer in this category, Method caught on to become a thriving, beloved company.
Ryan and Lowry attribute most of their success to their seven "obsessions"-the principles at the heart of Method's business philosophy and culture. They include:
* Kick Ass at Fast: use small size to your advantage. By bringing innovations to market faster than your large, bureaucratic rivals, you can always stay one step ahead.
* Inspire Advocates: Rather than fighting costly battles for market share by trying to appeal to everyone, foster deeper relationships with fewer (but more loyal) customers.
* Win on Product Experience: Beyond satisfying your customers' rational needs, try to design experiences that touch them on an emotional level.
The Method Method captures the irreverent attitude that makes people love the company. Ryan and Lowry don't hesitate to tell stories about their failures as well as their successes. And they show what happens when giants realize that some scrappy startup is daring to do things not only differently but better.
-Gary Hirshberg, CE-Yo, Stonyfield Farm Yogurt
"Eric and Adam's approach to branding is revolutionary. I remember them telling me how they were going to challenge big soap with their seven obsessions idea and I was blown away. Now, years later, they have become a force in a category that had been dominated by a couple of players for decades."
-Andy Spade Co-Founder Kate Spade
"If you read just one book this year, I highly recommend Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. But if you decide to get a second book, then The Method Method will inspire you to think like an entrepreneur and disrupt the world of business as normal. It's a must-read for today's business leader or tomorrow's entrepreneur. Or the day-after-tomorrow's procrastinator."
-Tony Hsieh, #1 NY Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com
"With the same humor and savvy that infuse Method itself, Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry tell the story of this aspirational brand and the principles and values behind it. Adam and Method have brought fresh thinking to their sector in challenging markets. The Method method should inspire entrepreneurs and innovators in all sectors."
-William McDonough Author of Cradle-to-Cradle
"Whether you're running a business and looking for inspiration, or wanting to start your own business and looking for motivation, or whether you just love fascinating stories about how small can still beat big, you've got to read this book."
-Richard Reed & Dan Germain, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Innocent Juice
"The greatest book the world has ever seen."
-Eric + Adam's moms
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