A 5 Minute Overview Of
Overcoming Doubts and Doubters
About the Author
Kara Goldin is the founder and CEO of Hint, Inc., the company best known for its award-winningHint water. She is active as a speaker and writer, and hosts the podcast Unstoppable with Kara Goldin. She has been named as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business, Fortune's Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs, Huffington Post's Six Business Disruptors, and EY Entrepreneur of the Year for Northern California. Prior to founding Hint, Kara Goldin worked as VP, Electronic Commerce and Shopping for America Online, in the sales department of CNN, and as circulation sales manager for Time Magazine. She is a graduate of Arizona State University.
Sections in this Books
Summaries.Com has a 30 minute summary of this book, which is available to premium subscribers. Here is the first paragraph of each section in the 30 minute summary.
1. The spark. Kara Goldin started Hint, Inc. in 2005 with her husband, Theo Goldin. This was right around the time consumers were starting to move away from diet-sweetened drinks and sugary drinks towards something which was healthier, like bottled water. A few companies were trying to pick up on this trend by incorporating the word "water" into the names of their new offerings. A few entrepreneurial brands were also coming along, although in practice those scrappy brands were really just giving consumers more of the same kind of products but using different language…
2. A business plan. By September 2004, Kara Goldin felt confident enough in the research she had done, to sit down and write up a short business plan — to act as a road map for what she wanted to do. She said to her husband Theo:…
3. Growing pains. While Kara and Theo Goldin were working through the mold issue, their distribution was continuing to grow. They needed more and more product, but their co-packer was reaching the limit of its capacity. The bottler was struggling to keep up with Hint's orders…
4. Hitching a ride on Starbucks. In early 2010, a Starbucks buyer had rung out of the blue. She had heard that Hint was in the process of developing a product for kids, and asked if Kara could bring some samples up to Seattle so they could take a look. The buyer had also mentioned: "We know all about the adult product. Don't bring any samples of that. Just bring the Hint Kids".
5. Healthy choices. When they first started out, Kara and Theo Goldin readily admit they didn't have a clearly defined mission at all. Their initial product concept came about because Kara didn't like the bland taste of plain water, and she wanted something that could help her fall in love with water rather than soda. Once she solved that problem for herself, she then wanted to see if her product could help other people do the same.
6. Lessons learned. So how did Hint not just survive but prosper, when everyone said it couldn't be done? There are lots of reasons, but some of the key success factors have been:…
Here is the contents of section 1 out of 6 from the 30 minute summary available to Summaries.com premium subscribers.
Kara Goldin started Hint, Inc. in 2005 with her husband, Theo Goldin. This was right around the time consumers were starting to move away from diet-sweetened drinks and sugary drinks towards something which was healthier, like bottled water. A few companies were trying to pick up on this trend by incorporating the word "water" into the names of their new offerings. A few entrepreneurial brands were also coming along, although in practice those scrappy brands were really just giving consumers more of the same kind of products but using different language…
In 2004, Kara Goldin had just gone through the rigors of three pregnancies in three years. Although she had built a successful career working at America Online, Time, Inc. and CNN, she was worried that her weight was up by 50 pounds, and that her skin didn't look as youthful as it used to. She also developed a severe case of adult acne.
When she went to doctors her friends recommended, they consistently told her the combination of working in stressful jobs and three pregnancies had thrown her system out of whack. They all diagnosed her as having a "metabolism slow-down", that her hormones were out of balance, and that she needed medication. It wasn't until some time later that Kara realized none of these doctors had even asked about her overall lifestyle choices, especially her diet and exercise. They had all just assumed her work habits, combined with the pregnancies, were the underlying cause of her current state of health — which she found kind of curious.
After drinking nothing but water for a couple of weeks, she began to think this was a form of self-torture. Plain water's lack of any taste at all started getting to her. It was so bland, but she forced herself to keep going for the sake of her health. Besides, she knew she was on to something good here — in just two-and-a-half-weeks of drinking water rather than diet soda, Kara had lost 24 pounds.
She started keeping pitchers of fruit-infused water in her fridge. Her kids loved it. Kara also did her own "market research" by offering her fruit-infused water to any guests who happened to came into her home — adults, kids, anyone. They all said they liked the taste of her home-made fruit-infused water. One mom even called her to ask where she could buy the raspberry-water her daughter had really liked at her house.
Kara Goldin insisted on making her infused-fruit water without any sugar, diet sweeteners, or preservatives. She found that drinking it solved a health problem for herself. Kara had more energy, her mood improved, her acne problem went away, and she was able to lose 50 pounds over the course of three months. Even better, she actually liked the taste of her home-made water a lot, and she knew others did too.
While she was shopping at Whole Foods, she took a detour down the water aisle to see what alternatives were available. She was surprised to find none of the big beverage companies then offered anything remotely like her home-made, sweetener-free, fruit-infused water. That got Kara thinking:
- Could this be an idea for a new product?
- Would people actually buy unsweetened water if it were available?
- Might this be an opportunity to make the world a little bit better, by helping people get healthier and feel better?
Instead, Kara Goldin simply wanted to show people what she had discovered for herself — that water can taste good without all the sugar and artificial sweeteners. Kara decided that she would take some baby-steps towards creating something meaningful to her.
Kara didn't have a product that was ready to start selling in a store yet, just her home-made recipes for fruit-infused water. She started tinkering to see how she could ramp up her production capacity.
First, Kara learned there were companies which sold fruit essences to the food and beverage industries. She ordered samples of those essences, but was disappointed to find they did not really taste like fresh fruit when they were added to water. Kara figured that she would either have to work with some of these manufacturers to come up with more robust fruit essences, or find another way forward.
Next up, Kara Goldin learned about "co-packers" who are for-hire manufacturers. Co-packers work with all kinds of client companies to create branded products. She concluded that using a co-packer might be a way to scale her production, but wasn't yet sure. She also worked hard to get to understand how the beverage industry worked.
The more she looked at the beverage industry, the more convinced she became that the industry was ripe for a shake-up. She noticed in particular there was very little innovation. Everybody seemed content to stick with the status quo. Kara Goldin might not be an industry insider, but she had a great story to tell, and she really believed in her product. She decided to go for it.
Your mess can become your message. When you solve a problem in your own life or career, that might be a red flag that there's a great product idea brewing there. Be aware, and then be prepared to run with what works for you.
Summaries.Com Editor's Comments
OK, I admit it. I had never heard of Kara Goldin or Hint Water before I read Undaunted. I'm definitely not a tree-hugger or an environmentalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I did get caught up in the story of how she took on the big players in the beverage industry, and carved out her own niche. You've got to respect that. This is a great story of overcoming obstacles and forging ahead. It's also a brilliant David vs. Goliath style battle, and who doesn't love cheering on the underdog.
Very inspiring tale. Full kudos to Kara Goldin and Theo Goldin. They definitely have walked the talk when it comes to living by your values, and refusing to take your eyes off your goals. This book has almost inspired me to start drinking water. A very colorful story, and a great read.
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