It’s not as iconic, big, or as juicy as Shoe Dog, but Authentic: A Memoir of Vans by Paul Van Doren is a straightforward, if not understated, perspective on business success. Just like the shoes themselves. I enjoyed this quick read and threw it in the growing pile of inspiring American success stories.
Rating: ★★★☆☆. These were some of my favorite passages:
- Hard work, honesty, and caring for people are what yield success. The beauty lies in simplicity, so don’t overcomplicate things.
- My belief is that you can always teach people how to do things. What you cannot teach people is how to understand other people.
- My experiment proved that we did indeed have a serious quality control problem: the people in charge of quality control had no idea what they were looking at.
- When I started interviewing people for jobs with us, the first thing I would do after someone handed me his or her résumé was toss it in the trash. They would be horrified, of course, and get nervous, but when I proceeded to ask questions and have them tell me about themselves in their own words, they relaxed. How else could I find out who they really were?
- We can all recognize that we need one another. I said it at the outset of this book, and I’ll say it again: no one gets anywhere alone.
- Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.