In The Method Method, co-founders Eric and Adam take us on a journey from the beginning of the Method cleaning product brand to its present day and dish out useful advice for start-ups and business people along the way.
The book is split into seven chapters using the popular numbered-list device (named here "the seven obsessions") and almost all of them stand up to scrutiny as offering something beyond advertisement.
1. Create a Culture Club. Use culture as a competitive advantage by branding from the inside out.
2. Inspire Advocates. Create advocates behind a social mission rather than just transactional customers.
3. Be a Green Giant. Personalize the green movement to inspire change on a grand scale.
4. Kick Ass Fast. If you're not the biggest, you'd better be the fastest.
5. Relationship Retail. Deliver retail differentiation by creating fewer but deeper relationships.
6. Win on Product Experience. Be product-centric and deliver remarkable product experiences.
7. Driven by Design. Build design leadership into your DNA.
The authors of this book are good storytellers. The book feels carefully crafted to keep the reader interested; it's engagingly written and well-paced. It is peppered with amusing and useful anecdotes and written in that chatty, informal, "writing just for you"-style. Some of the most useful advice comes from the "Error Autopsy" segments where the authors dissect and explain one of their less successful moments in business.
There is a degree of refreshing honesty to the writing. It's not all-pervasive, and the book is far from devoid of spin, but for the most part, the authors' voices have the ring of honesty, and, for the most part, it's worth paying attention to what they say.
In the beginning, it is made clear that when Eric and Adam started up, they just needed The Idea and didn't have any particular passion for cleaning products. Having identified a gap in the market, they set out to bring what they describe as "Aveda for the home" to the masses.
And herein lies the true value of this book. In the beginning Eric and Adam may not have been experts in cleaning products, much less in retail, but they sure are now. They've had to learn many things the hard way and whilst it may seem that their "seven obsessions" are some holy business commandments that came to them in a revelation they are, in fact, the beneficial product of hindsight. The best advice in this book is not spelled out, but rather unfolds as we follow the co-founders' journey and live through all their ups and downs with them.