Richard, Adam and John were Cambridge college buddies. In between pizza and beer, they daydreamed of starting a business, but predictably… took big jobs after graduation.
One snowboarding weekend, they decided to stop dreaming and start doing. They would set up a healthy smoothie business to counteract all the pizza and beer. But was there actually a market for blended fruit in a bottle?
To answer their question, they set up a stall at a London music festival with a sign that simply read, “Should we give up our jobs to make these smoothies?” People had to chuck their empty bottles in the YES or the NO bin. The smoothies sold out, the YES bin overflowed, and just like that, they all quit.
However, there’s a difference between selling hundreds of smoothies in one day and selling retail. Thousands in debt and rejected by every potential investor, they sent a desperate email with the subject “Does anyone know anyone rich?” That’s when a nice, rich man saved the day with £250,000.
So, now they needed a name—Innocent it was! They wrote little health and charity stories on the bottles, delivered them via “cow” vans, and set up their headquarters: Fruit Towers. There, they had colorful beanbags, an optional bare foot policy, and AGMs (A Grown up Meeting).
The playful, all-natural brand was a hit. After 15 years of selling 2 million smoothies a week, Coca-Cola swallowed them up.
A LIFE WORTH LEADING
Why did the founders initially end up in jobs when their dream was to start a company? Does a market study have to be a boring task performed between 4 white walls? Or maybe your next music festival or trip can teach you something new? If a lot of investors have rejected you, does it mean they know better than you?
If 95% of us do things in a certain way because “that’s how we’ve always done it” or “it’s a proven and secure way”, then so be it, as long as it makes us happy!
For the remaining 5%, leading a custom-made life might be the only answer. After all, if you’re not setting the rules for your own time on Earth, then what’s the point in living?
© Story by Tarek Issa.