A Book You Should Definitely Read: Innocent: Our Story & Some Things We’ve Learned

So my Boss Dave read this book and really recommended it for a budding entrepreneurs – I ready it anyway – I laugh in the face of perceptions.

I just thought I’d write review on it. Here it is team.

So the book itself is about the story of Innocent. It talks about the idea, the journey, the current situation and the future, all of which are extremely interesting as I do actually like to see how companies develop and grow. The book gives tips and tricks the founders have learned throughout their journey of setting up and managing the business.

The company was started by three Cambridge students – Now I hate it when people mention this because by mentioning this, I am inherently suggesting that only OxBridge graduates can go on to build successful companies, but that is bullshit, these guys were coincidently Cambridge graduates – all they did was simply execute an idea effectively, but I digest. Richard Reed, Adam Balon and Jon Wright were the co-founders and they all had great jobs in the city as Management Consultants if I remember correctly before they setup the business. The guys had an ambition to start a business of some sort and wanted to take the jump. The team came up with the idea of healthy smoothies as they found a gap in the market (which I guess there was between 1998-1999). The book goes on to highlight the name ideas they had, the challenges they faced of not being able to source vegetables, retailers not accepting their product and more, all of which very interesting.

What I really liked about this book were the hints and tips they gave throughout to budding entrepreneurs. They talked about how the company has values, has a bookshelf that employees can loan books from and how the company will buy a book for an employee as long as they then donate it to the company bookshelf – great idea I thought and so much more.

What I really enjoyed about the book was the insight in to the process of how they chose their name, ‘Innocent’, below is a picture showing just how they came to this name – other names that were in the running before Innocent were, ‘Naked’, ‘Exposed’ and ‘Seedy’.

Some of the interesting advice in the book is as follows:

“Our advice: get a small team together of people who share the same values but bring a different and complementary set of skills.”

“If your product’s good, then there’s no greater advert than having someone try it.”

“Businesses that don’t listen end up failing. So all we would say is that in order to gather information from the people who make your business tick (your customers), you need to stay in touch and put out as many feelers and sensors you can. Wiretap your target market. Everything you do should suggest an attitude of availability and a willingness to learn.”

All in all, the book has some great advice for entrepreneurs and has an excellent tone to it – the books is extremely readable and I managed to get through it within a week with evening only reading – that is a major thing for me, as I take bloody ages to read a book.

What I would say is that the book didn’t come with a free sample of a smoothy – that would have been good. The book also didn’t come with the option to change the font on the paper like those Kindle things do nowadays. It was good quality e-ink and didn’t reflect the sun in the sunlight. I bought the book for £11.89. Worth it? yes – I don’t plan on giving this book to anyone as I have made a whole load of notes on it and bookmarked a whole load of pages for future reference.

Hope you enjoyed the review and hope I have enticed you in to buying it. Was I critical enough you may be asking? I was actually, the book is a really good read.

By Naj Hassan

Hey, i'm Naj. Thanks for reading. Please feel free to contact me via the about page.