Saturday, May 9, 2015


Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone ThrivesUncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives by Kip Tindell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sum it up in a sentence (or two): Kip Tindell, CEO of The Container Store, shares the origin story of his successful business and why caring about people (his employees) is the best thing he can do for the customer and the stockholder.

First thoughts: I read an article about Kip Tindell earlier this year, so the basic premise of this business memoir wasn't new to me. I've also been a customer and fan of The Container Store for a while (especially at work), so I was familiar with the seven Foundation Principles and Tindell's fierce and belief in transparency and compassion. Still, I enjoyed reading his theories about "Conscious Capitalism" (with success stories to prove them) and learning more about the business of helping people.

Similarities and Differences: A few things struck me about Tindell. First, we both love reading and writing (and majored in English). Second, we both keep a collection of things that inspire us - magazine/newspaper articles, quotes from people we admire, etc. On the other hand, while I found his entrepreneurship admirable, starting a business isn't something I'd ever find myself doing. He's also enthusiastic to the point of evangelicalism, like a southern preacher of organization.

Some cool things: Tindell does a fine job of explaining his companies core principles, especially The Container Store's hiring practices and emphasis on the employee - this book read a little like a recruitment brochure, and Tindell himself says that TCS is always/should always be recruiting the best people. I was also heartened by his passion for doing good, and the fact that it seems like more and more companies are catching on to the Conscious Capitalism trend. No one would ever call me a capitalist, but I'm all for people making a profit alongside working for the good of others.

Final thoughts: An interesting read from an interesting character. Tindell's pure delight in what he does comes through on every page - he uses the word "love" possibly more than he uses the word "business." Even more interesting would be to see how this holds up in the next ten, twenty, thirty years - already some of the facts are dating themselves, so while Uncontainable gives an accurate snapshot of The Container Store in 2014-2015, I'm not sure it's the final chapter of the store - and I think that's how Tindell wants it.

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