This is the most enjoyable “business book” I have ever read. I’ve put the genre in inverted commas because the feel of it is completely different to anything I have come across before. It almost needs a new genre for itself.
The book completely reflects innocent. Innocent was started by three friends in 1999 and now they have completely taken over the smoothies market in the UK and some other countries. I am a great fan of their products, they do taste yummy. They can look a little bit pricey, but having read about the manufacturing process behind them, they really should not be priced for less.
Innocent is an environmentally responsible company, I would go further and say, an ethically responsible company, to the core. They REALLY practice what they preach. And if the book reflects in any way their day-to day operations (which I’m pretty sure it does), their ethos drives everything they do. Even the book itself has a completely different feel to it than most paperbacks, though published by Penguin.
Back to the book. It’s a great read: light, full of examples and a really good balance of things that went well and those that didn’t. But what I enjoyed about it most was its honesty. Of course, the honesty contributes to the humour: I’m bound to cite many a time the fact that the guys tried to schedule their meetings with investors at lunchtime in order to get free sandwiches when their cash was running out.
The book is full of advice for entrepreneurs, such as my favourite: “start small, but do start”. But beyond that, it is a story about entrepreneurial success. From three guys thinking “Hey, it would be really good to go into business together” to “Hey, Coke’s invested £30 million in our company and we can still run it as we want to”.
If you enjoy reading the labels on the innocent smoothies, you will enjoy this book. It has a story, has been written for your amusement, contains some advice (and no artificial additives) and is written by successful people who don’t take themselves too seriously. What more could we possibly ask for?