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Start Something That Matters

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  6,138 Ratings  ·  703 Reviews
The incredible story of the man behind TOMS Shoes and One for One, the revolutionary business model that marries fun, profit, and social good

“A creative and open-hearted business model for our times.”—The Wall Street Journal

Why this book is for you:

• You’re ready to make a difference in the world—through your own start-up business, a nonprofit organization, or a new p
...more
Paperback, 185 pages
Published May 15th 2012 by Spiegel & Grau (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kurt
Aug 20, 2011 Kurt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely anyone, especially anyone nursing a quiet dream to make the world a better place
Recommended to Kurt by: Amazon Vine
This quick little book is a guide for socially conscious entrepreneurship for the Twitter generation, and there is no piece of that description that appeals to me as a reader. The Amazon Vine program offered me a free copy, though, and I decided to accept it because (1) I’m a big fan of The Amazing Race, on which Mycoskie appeared, and (2) my dad loves the TOMS shoes movement.

Personally, I haven’t been enthusiastic about the TOMS idea. I don’t really care for the aesthetics of the shoes, and I t
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Lea
I won this as part of a GoodReads FirstReads giveaway -- thanks!

Before reading this book ( written by Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes), I was completely unfamiliar with the author's company. I'd seen TOMS shoes once or twice, but I really didn't "get it" -- I'm not a shoes girl, and they didn't look like anything all that special to me. Well, after reading this book, I'm buying TOMS for the whole family, LOL. I love the concept behind TOMS -- for every pair of shoes purchased, the company
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Sharon
This book will be on my gift-giving list this Christmas, and it should be on yours. Easy and fast to read with many profound thoughts and ideas. It's partly the story of TOMS, but also the story of many other similar companies, briefly, including some sage advice for anyone who wishes to start a company with an integrated charity component. More than all that, there are pearls of wisdom in it for living well for every reader.

In these challenging economic times, the message is clear. Help someon
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Mukesh Emes
Jan 12, 2015 Mukesh Emes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is really a good book. I really enjoyed reading it. In this book Blake Mycoskie reveals some inspirational stories of TOMS shoes and other companies. I really liked the story of Subway. “Jared Fogiez” who wanted to reduce his weight and he started taking Subway sandwich diet. Once he lost 100 pounds and it became a big news in all media. Subway presented Jared's story in a perfect way and the result was amazing, their sales shot up 20%. Overall, sales more than tripled to $11.5 billion in 2 ...more
Engy فوده
Jan 16, 2013 Engy فوده rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
هذه قصة شاب وعد نفسه برحلة إلي الأرجنتين في وقت معين، و رغم أنه كان قد بدأ مشروع جديد إلا أنه قرر السفر و ترك الإدارة لشركائه. في الأرجنتين قابل صديقة تدير مؤسسة خيرية عن تجميع الأحذية و توزيعها علي الأطفال المعدمين، و لكن دائماً ما كان يواجهها مشكلات في مقاسات الأطفال حتي لو جائهها العديد من التبرعات و لم يتوافق المقاسات فينتهي الأمر إلي أطفال لا يزالوا حفاة!!
فقرر عمل مشروع إستثماري يحمل نموذج لمشروع تجاري جديد يعتمد علي مبدأ جديد: واحد لواحد، أي لكل حذاء جديد يشتريه، سيعطي حذاء جديد مصنع علي م
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Kathleen
Aug 23, 2011 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was relieved to find that this was not a "preachy" primer on "how to be good," but rather a business book that encourages the reader's entrepreneurial side, and emphasizes the importance of being passionate about whatever you do, be it starting a company that sends people bouncy balls with personalized messages or building clean water wells around the world. Mycoskie also speaks to basic management principles and strategies (from hiring the right people and keeping staff inspired and involved, ...more
Malin Friess
Jan 01, 2012 Malin Friess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Blake Mycokie's story former Amazing Race Contestant and current CEO (or has he calls himself chief Shoe Giver of ) TOMS. Toms is a business that is one for one...you by a pair of his soft simple canvas shoes made in Argentina...he will give one pair to a child in the developing world. TOMS have become style of choice for the social justice minded...making a statement with style and generosity all at the same time.

Blake seem like a great guy and offer lots of great advice....

Be frugal
fo
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Lisa
Dec 12, 2011 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good. Much better than I expected it to be, if I'm honest. Everyone who is in charge of a classroom, group, department, organization, business, or program should read this book. Anyone who hopes to one day be in charge of one of those things should read this book. One of the best 'business' books I've ever read...I'm quite impressed.

Completely along the lines of "Right Livelihood" -- an idea I strongly value.
Andrea
Nov 01, 2014 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot from this book that I wasn't expecting. For example, I had not heard the TOM's story before. I must have been living under a rock, because I thought they were just shoes and a fad. I also learned a little about the Method company's story and how they started in an apartment in San Francisco. Blake Mycoskie offers a lot of advice on how to run a successful that is profitable, but also on how to make a positive impact and give back to society. I definitely enjoyed this read!
Lisa Lucas
Won on goodreads giveaway. Review coming soon. Won on 8/29, have not received copy as of 9/29
Donna
Oct 08, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved the basic message of this book. The author is the guy responsible for TOMs. He told his entrepreneurial story, and the stories of others in a positive manner with a strong emphasis on 'giving back'. This book left me with warm fuzzies. It made sense to me. He also promotes having a story to perpetuate a business and to create a buzz that gets people talking about you and your company, buying from you, and telling all their friends about you. Some might say that his business model is a gi ...more
Patty
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim
Nov 05, 2011 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blake Mycoskie’s brief book covers his struggles in launching one of his companies: Tom orrow’s S hoes (TOMS). This work is not an autobiography. It is somewhat a company profile, almost an entrepreneurial self-help guide, and mostly an elaboration of his mission statement.

Based on a marketing One-for-One (1-4-1) notion, Mycoskie caught the charitable consumerism wave with his version of the Argentinean shoeware called alpargata, which seems to be a cross between a sneaker and a deck shoe and
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Santhosh
Mar 03, 2015 Santhosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura Fingal-Surma
I have no idea how this book has an average of 4.11 stars. I picked it up because someone interesting mentioned it during a Q & A session. Most books that I bother to finish get at least 3 stars, but I don't think this really stacks up against the other books I've given 3 stars, so I guess it's 2. I didn't hate it, and I wouldn't say you definitely shouldn't read it. I just didn't get much out of it compared to other books. This book most definitely will not stand the test of time.

The most i
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Navya Bharathi
Jan 08, 2015 Navya Bharathi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a really great inspiring book.
I love the idea of TOMS, for each pair of shoe they sell, they are giving one pair of shoe to a barefoot child. Blake told us many stories that are similar to TOMS, how other companies start and doing charity activities.
I like the way he defines the success, its not just a money or status, at the end you are going to help someone who are in need. He will tell us the Power of the stories, how people were really connected to the stories + scientifically proved
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Tina
Nov 23, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, nonfiction
Success is not defined by status and money. For Blake Mycoskie, the founder of Tom’s Shoes, success is defined by making a difference in the world. Although his company is for-profit, he practices philanthropy by giving away a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold.

One reason Tom’s Shoes does so well is because they tell a story that reaches people at an emotional level. Although we frequently forget facts, we tend to remember stories.

You don’t need to follow in his ‘shoes’ and fo
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Kayla
Jun 20, 2012 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I happened upon this book this morning. After feeling disappointed by Peter Buffett's book on finding fulfillment, I picked this one up without any expectations of liking it. Two hours later, I had finished it and was very glad I had read it. Written by the creator of TOMS, this book described how he started the company, the challenges he faced and how they were overcome, and gave advice to those who wanted to, as the title suggests, start something that matters. It wasn't overly optimistic and ...more
Kitty
Oct 01, 2015 Kitty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: entrepreneurs
Recommended to Kitty by: Sherri
There are books that are educational about running a business, and there are books that her inspirational. On the spectrum, this is more inspirational than educational, but every entrepreneur needs a little pick me up now, rather than get bogged down with the percentage of entrepreneurial entities that fail.
The story of TOMS and the many other businesses highlighted in this book were wonderfully inspirational while still giving tips about running a company with the TOMS philosophy and business p
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Sunitha
Feb 04, 2013 Sunitha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A quick and easy read. The unique idea of making profit for the sake of giving more intrigued me. The author seems to give some brash advice at times. It seems like the publishers also have not done their fact checking right. Towards the end of the book, the author quotes Chanakya referring to him as a Chinese philosopher. However, Chanakya was a famous Indian philosopher. Makes me wonder what else they got wrong in the book. I would still recommend it as a motivating book even if one is not int ...more
Tatiana
Sep 02, 2016 Tatiana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Redundant and self-promotional. Would recommend just Goolging TOMS shoes and reading either a one-page article or wikipedia page instead of this book.
Amanda Paulin
Dec 17, 2014 Amanda Paulin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great, easy read with a wonderful study guide online. Inspiring.
Adam Tschorn
With "Start Something That Matters," Blake Mycoskie, the sailboat-dwelling former reality show contestant, serial entrepreneur, unbridled optimist and philanthropically motivated founder of Toms Shoes, has added author to his resume. He's also managed to pen a quick read of a motivational guide for well-intentioned millennials and a dirt-easy-to-follow blueprint for anyone thinking about following in the footsteps of his alpargatas.

Alpargatas, of course, are the slipper-like, jute-soled, soft ca
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Kate M. Colby
Oct 21, 2014 Kate M. Colby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his business advice book, Start Something That Matters, Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, advocates a business model that combines capitalism and charity.

Blake begins by telling TOMS's origin story. He explains how the idea for TOMS originated in Argentina, where he saw many barefoot children. Blake learned that a lack of shoes can cause severe health problems for children and prevent them from getting an education. Deeply affected by this situation, Blake decided to start a business that
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Aaron Maurer
Aug 18, 2013 Aaron Maurer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
I read another book that I feel you should read. It is by Blake Mycoskie which many of you don't know the name, but you know his company TOMS shoes. This is a story about his journey along with what he believes are the keys to getting started with your own goals. Below are my 4 key ideas that really stuck with me and my own personal thoughts. You can read the book to hear what he has to say along with many other ideas. These are not his key ideas, but were key to me with where I am in life right ...more
Maggie (Raindrop Reads)
Start Something That Matters.

I waited for this book for weeks on end. I've been a TOMS fanatic for a long time, and I've always loved what their purpose is and their mindset. And it's always been my dream to start an organization or business that makes a change. Something that actually has an impact on the world. So, as soon as I learned that this book was being written, I could barely contain my excitement, and even less so could I maintain my countenance while waiting for the publishing date
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Becca Fick
Nov 30, 2011 Becca Fick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m excited to share that I was selected for the TOMS Books for Bloggers Program last month. TOMS sent me two copies of their book START SOMETHING THAT MATTERS, written by Blake Mycoskie (Founder and Chief Shoe Giver). I finished reading my copy on my flight home for Thanksgiving and now I have one to give away to you! For anyone unfamiliar with the TOMS brand, the company philosophy is One for One. It started with shoes, then eye glasses, and now books. If you buy a pair of shoes TOMS donates a ...more
Andrienne
Sep 10, 2011 Andrienne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Blake MycoskieStart Something That Matters
iconI read this slim book in one sitting. Partly because I was curious about the person behind the TOMS shoes and also because I wanted to find out more about the unique business that touted the message, "One for One." This book included lessons that I already knew (which was surprising since I'm not a really hardcore business-type kind of person). That said, if you don't mind hearing familiar stories from well-known companies like Walmart, Levi's, Apple etc., then this
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Kym McNabney
Dec 23, 2011 Kym McNabney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to be honest, I'd never heard of TOMS shoes until Blake Mycoskie spoke at my church, WILLOW CREEK COMMUNITY CHURCH. I was instantly intrigued by his story, as well as admired his morals. I've been serving, mainly in the prison and Jail ministers, since 2004. I know firsthand what it means for God to place in your heart a passion that blesses you as well as others.

After the service they were selling TOMS shoes, along with Blake's book out in the lobby. I was tempted, but low on funds and
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Sara
As a perpetual "do-gooder" I was so very excited to receive a copy of this book as part of the Good Reads giveaway. This book did not disappoint.

I had seen TOMS shoes around on people, and liked the way they looked, and knew they had a one-for one policy, where each pair sold led to a pair of donated shoes to a needy child - awesome! I had no idea about the history of TOMS or about Mr. Mycoskie.

This is a really inspirational book, with excellent real life examples about how to integrate giving b
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Nonfiction Naviga...: Start Something That Matters 1 3 Dec 03, 2015 07:59AM  
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Blake Mycoskie is the founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes.Blake Mycoskie is the Founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS, and the person behind the idea of One for One, a business model to help a person in need with every product purchased. A simple idea has grown into a global movement: TOMS Shoes has provided over 35 million pairs of shoes to children since 2006, and TOMS Eyewear has restored ...more
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“One day, when I own a house, I'll keep a library full of books. Books are different from other possessions-they're more like friends.” 16 likes
“When you have a memorable story about who you are and what your mission is, your success no longer depends on how experienced you are or how many degrees you have or who you know. A good story transcends boundaries, breaks barriers, and opens doors. It is a key not only to starting a business but also to clarifying your own personal identity and choices.” 8 likes
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