"There are three rules for running a business; fortunately, we don't know any of them."
In 1978, Paul Newman and A. E. Hotchner decided that rather than just distribute Paul's own salad dressing at Christmas to neighbors, they would offer it to a few local stores. Freewheeling, irreverent entrepreneurs, they conceived of their venture as a great way to poke fun at the mundane method of traditional marketing.
Much to their surprise, the dressing was enthusiastically received. What had started as a lark quickly escalated into a full-fledged business, the first company to place all-natural foods in supermarkets. From salad dressing to spaghetti sauce, to popcorn and lemonade, Newman's Own became a major player in the food business.
The company's profits were originally donated to medical research, education, and the environment, and eventually went to the creation of the eight Hole in the Wall Gang camps for children with serious illnesses.
In these pages Newman and Hotchner recount the picaresque saga of their own nonmanagement adventure. In alternating voices, playing off one another in classic "Odd Couple" style, they describe how they systematically disregarded the advice of experts and relied instead on instinct, imagination, and mostly luck. They write about how they hurdled obstacle after obstacle, share their hilarious misadventures, and reveal their offbeat solutions to conventional problems.
Even their approach to charity is decidedly different: every year they give away all the company's profits, empty the coffers, and start over again. The results of this amazing generosity are brought to life in heartwarming stories about the children at their camps. With rare glimpses into their zany style and their compassion for those less fortunate, Newman and Hotchner have written the perfect non-management book, at once playful, informative, and inspirational.
Previously published in hardcover as Shameless Exploitation in the Pursuit of the Common Good
It is December, 1980, a week before Christmas, Westport, Connecticut, a blanket of snow on the ground, wood smoke from fireplaces redolent in the air, tree lights festooning the houses, a pervasive Yuletide lilt but we are laboring in the subterranean space beneath Paul's converted barn, an area that had once been a stable for farm horses. There is a bucket filled with ice-blanketed Budweisers, and an array of bottles of olive oil, vinegar, mustard, condiments, etcetera. There is also an empty tub and a collection of old bottles dating back to revolutionary times by their appearance, bottles of various shapes and sizes that had been somewhat sanitized for this occasion.
Paul Newman, known to his friends as ol' PL or Calezzo de Wesso (Bonehead), had asked his buddy, A.E. Hotchner (Hotch), sometimes called Sawtooth, to help him with a Christmas project that he was assembling in this basement, which wasn't a basement in the usual sense. There were crusty stones, a dirt ...
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