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Seven Obsessions That Helped Our Scrappy Start-Up Turn an Industry Upside Down

by Eric Ryan & Adam Lowry

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59184-399-3
Publisher: Portfolio

Oozing with 20-something creativity and offbeat humor, this premiere edition tells the story of two childhood friends who formed a business to revolutionize the cleaning industry.

The key is as old as capitalism itself: Find something you love, and sell it in a new and exciting way. Lowry, a climate research chemist, and Ryan, a former adman, channeled their passion for a healthy planet into a multimillion-dollar brand. They created nontoxic soap products in beer pitchers at their apartment and sold them from the back of a car. The end result was Method, a line of eco-friendly detergents and household cleaners, such as a dish soap that contains a biodegradable cleaning agent derived from corn sugars and coconut oil. But taking Method from the red to the shelves of Target stores and large profits in just ten years was not without struggle. The authors list seven “obsessions” in lieu of typical ho-hum business strategies. Their “Method humanifesto” urges would-be entrepreneurs to “look at the world through bright-green colored glasses.” Design is also important, as many of Method’s recycled containers are stylish and fun; in collaboration with Disney, a kids’ line of soap bottles was created to resemble Mickey Mouse ears. Method’s business philosophy encourages employees to “keep Method weird.”

Readers will find much inspiration and advice for turning a startup concept into business reality in this atypical how-to guide.