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Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out

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One of the most provocative entrepreneurs of our time, who started Ecko Unltd out of his parents’ garage and turned it into a media empire, Marc Ecko reveals his formula for building an authentic brand or business. As instructive as it is innovative, Unlabel will empower you to channel your creativity, find the courage to defy convention, and summon the confidence to act a One of the most provocative entrepreneurs of our time, who started Ecko Unltd out of his parents’ garage and turned it into a media empire, Marc Ecko reveals his formula for building an authentic brand or business. As instructive as it is innovative, Unlabel will empower you to channel your creativity, find the courage to defy convention, and summon the confidence to act and compete in any environment. This visual blueprint will teach you how to grow both creatively and commercially by testing your personal brand against the principles of the Authenticity Formula. Marc Ecko shares the bruising mistakes and remarkable triumphs that reveal the truth behind his success, growing from a misfit kid airbrushing T-shirts in his parents’ garage to the bold creator of two hugely successful branded platforms—Ecko Unltd. and Complex Media. As Ecko explains, it’s not enough to simply merge your inner artist with business savvy, you must understand the anatomy of a brand, starting with its authentic spine. With Unlabel, you will learn how to discover your own voice by overcoming fear and taking action, what it means to deliver on your promises, why failure is essential, how to understand how your product or service makes people feel, and how to recognize if your nostalgia for the past is hampering your ability to envision your future. Unlabel is a bold and honest approach to building an authentic personal brand, growing a bootstrap start-up into a sustainable business.

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One of the most provocative entrepreneurs of our time, who started Ecko Unltd out of his parents’ garage and turned it into a media empire, Marc Ecko reveals his formula for building an authentic brand or business. As instructive as it is innovative, Unlabel will empower you to channel your creativity, find the courage to defy convention, and summon the confidence to act a One of the most provocative entrepreneurs of our time, who started Ecko Unltd out of his parents’ garage and turned it into a media empire, Marc Ecko reveals his formula for building an authentic brand or business. As instructive as it is innovative, Unlabel will empower you to channel your creativity, find the courage to defy convention, and summon the confidence to act and compete in any environment. This visual blueprint will teach you how to grow both creatively and commercially by testing your personal brand against the principles of the Authenticity Formula. Marc Ecko shares the bruising mistakes and remarkable triumphs that reveal the truth behind his success, growing from a misfit kid airbrushing T-shirts in his parents’ garage to the bold creator of two hugely successful branded platforms—Ecko Unltd. and Complex Media. As Ecko explains, it’s not enough to simply merge your inner artist with business savvy, you must understand the anatomy of a brand, starting with its authentic spine. With Unlabel, you will learn how to discover your own voice by overcoming fear and taking action, what it means to deliver on your promises, why failure is essential, how to understand how your product or service makes people feel, and how to recognize if your nostalgia for the past is hampering your ability to envision your future. Unlabel is a bold and honest approach to building an authentic personal brand, growing a bootstrap start-up into a sustainable business.

30 review for Unlabel: Selling You Without Selling Out

  1. 4 out of 5

    J.F. Penn

    Fantastic for creatives wanting to be more entrepreneurial and taking charge of their brand. I also bought the print version because it is full of Marc's own art as well as stickers (yeah!) that I stuck in my diary along with my notes. Now that IS good branding! The book explores a 'formula' for authenticity, relating to unique voice, truthfulness, capacity for change, emotional impact and imagination. Marc explains each relating it to his own personal journey from graffiti artist and t-shirt de Fantastic for creatives wanting to be more entrepreneurial and taking charge of their brand. I also bought the print version because it is full of Marc's own art as well as stickers (yeah!) that I stuck in my diary along with my notes. Now that IS good branding! The book explores a 'formula' for authenticity, relating to unique voice, truthfulness, capacity for change, emotional impact and imagination. Marc explains each relating it to his own personal journey from graffiti artist and t-shirt designer to multi-millionaire clothing empire and lifestyle brand Ecko, but he talks about the art still being critical to him. I'm not "street" in any way at all, and I had never heard of Marc Ecko before this, but I think any creative can learn from the personal branding and authenticity lessons.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Amar Pai

    An entertaining read, despite Ecko’s penchant for expressing his Brand Philosophy through page upon page of pseudo-mathematical formulas. It’s like he wanted to write a math book but didn’t know any math, but wrote a math book anyhow. So 1 star for the formulas but 4 stars for the grind, the hustle and the sheer artistic talent. Ecko is a very talented artist! And if you care about your Personal Brand, there’s much of interest in these pages. I came to it by way of Complex (magazine/youtube chann An entertaining read, despite Ecko’s penchant for expressing his Brand Philosophy through page upon page of pseudo-mathematical formulas. It’s like he wanted to write a math book but didn’t know any math, but wrote a math book anyhow. So 1 star for the formulas but 4 stars for the grind, the hustle and the sheer artistic talent. Ecko is a very talented artist! And if you care about your Personal Brand, there’s much of interest in these pages. I came to it by way of Complex (magazine/youtube channel/website). I wanted to know more about the guy who founded this quintessential hip hop/sneaker/hot wing/hypebeast... uh, brand. So much talk of brands in this book Ecko’s come up is an interesting tale. He’s a Jewish boy who became obsessed w graffiti and rap— not the first, but one of the most persistent and interesting. He tells a good tale when not trying to distill life into some cryptic multivariable formula “Hustle * Ego / Power to the limit of brand = Potential squared” I laughed aloud at his graph of selfless to selfish. Gandhi on the far left, Hitler on the far right. I ... guess? But then he’s like “you have to be kind of like hitler! Be as selfish as your destiny requires! It’s not authentic for hitler to be gandhi!” I might be misrembering, it was pretty confusing. It’s just a funny scale to sort people on I had fun reading this book. He made a graffiti video game, improbably. I hear it’s “antifa”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    Ecko made millions designing hip hop and skate culture inspired t shirts and hoodies. In this book he explains how he overcame various production and marketing obstacles while trying to build the brand. I think the only part that interested me was how he found affordable ways to do full color screen printing. The 50th law written by Robert Greene and 50 cent is a much better riff on business and "street instincts." It's better to go to the source than to some privileged white man's ideas for tha Ecko made millions designing hip hop and skate culture inspired t shirts and hoodies. In this book he explains how he overcame various production and marketing obstacles while trying to build the brand. I think the only part that interested me was how he found affordable ways to do full color screen printing. The 50th law written by Robert Greene and 50 cent is a much better riff on business and "street instincts." It's better to go to the source than to some privileged white man's ideas for that. But also, there are so many whiffs of insincerity that you start feeling compromised. For example he says at the beginning of the book that he wasn't going to drone on about the secrets of his success. Well, that's exactly what he ends up doing. When he draws contrasts between himself and Donald Trump you wonder if he is proactively trying to avoid the inevitable comparisons. He writes "you don't make Grease without John Fucking Travolta" when describing his realization that fashion lines could be built around one signature item, like a fleece hoodie. After the first few strong chapters his voice begins to sound less articulate, more vulgar and noisy. But I got to the end. The packaging of this book is attractive. with a few pages of stickers to put on your laptop to show the people at Starbucks that you're on board.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cathee

    Disclosure: I won a free copy of this book in a First Reads giveaway. Though I didn't know much about Marc Ecko before reading the book (save for seeing his Ecko Unltd. clothing line here and there), I was interested in what he, as a notable entrepreneur, had to say on the topic of branding and marketing. I wasn't disappointed. Unlabel is part memoir, part business/marketing "textbook" (as described by Ecko himself) -- but don't let the word "textbook" fool you. The content is honest and relatabl Disclosure: I won a free copy of this book in a First Reads giveaway. Though I didn't know much about Marc Ecko before reading the book (save for seeing his Ecko Unltd. clothing line here and there), I was interested in what he, as a notable entrepreneur, had to say on the topic of branding and marketing. I wasn't disappointed. Unlabel is part memoir, part business/marketing "textbook" (as described by Ecko himself) -- but don't let the word "textbook" fool you. The content is honest and relatable, and Ecko's voice and sense of humour definitely come through. (The pop culture and rap references help. Oh, and the swearing.) About 75% of the book is anecdotal, telling the story of his business chronologically; interspersed between anecdotes, Ecko provides notes and tips for entrepreneurs, creative "instigators," and anyone who wants to develop their personal brand -- and Ecko asserts that everyone, no matter their personality or profession, is in fact their own brand. While the advice Ecko provides is valuable, I wouldn't go as far as to call this a self-help book; Ecko concocts an "Authenticity Formula" to use as a guideline for personal branding, but he doesn't aim to prescribe a specific methodology to use. He simply shares his personal experiences with the reader and draws lessons from these experiences. He takes a down-to-earth tone and doesn't shy away from discussing the bumps along the road, either; his words seem genuine (though well-edited; and does he really read Thoreau in his spare time?), which ties in to his notion of authenticity. As for the physical book itself, I did enjoy the hardcopy. It has great-quality printing and binding, and the paper is lovely. I'd recommend this book to the aforementioned entrepreneurs/instigators, people interested in business/marketing/operations, and anyone who is looking for inspiration to put action to ideas. Even if you're not big on the man, check it out if just for the little tips (he has great ones on professional networking, "jus' sayin'"). Who knows, you might learn something!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Glen Gordon

    The most authentic look at branding I've ever read!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Galasetti

    Full disclosure: I won a copy of Unlabel from a Goodreads contest. Also, I’ve been a fan of Marc’s. ---- Firstly, I think Unlabel is best read as a hardback. The quality is incredible and there are many artworks and images to take in. As a paperback or ebook, I feel something would be lost, and I usually prefer ebooks and paperbacks. The two cons I had about Unlabel were how it was annoying when some of the summarized lessons were placed in the middle of a section and how I would have liked to know Full disclosure: I won a copy of Unlabel from a Goodreads contest. Also, I’ve been a fan of Marc’s. ---- Firstly, I think Unlabel is best read as a hardback. The quality is incredible and there are many artworks and images to take in. As a paperback or ebook, I feel something would be lost, and I usually prefer ebooks and paperbacks. The two cons I had about Unlabel were how it was annoying when some of the summarized lessons were placed in the middle of a section and how I would have liked to know more about his parents. I understand that Unlabel is intended to be set up like a textbook. However, it sometimes interrupted the flow of Marc’s story. This was most likely the publisher’s decision so I won’t take any stars off. Plus, it’s not a huge deal to flip back after you’ve finished a chapter or section to read the lesson. It just seems like it would flow better if the lessons were at the end. The other thing was that I wished Marc had written a bit more about his parents, especially his mother. He mentioned his parents helping him buy his first airbrush and compressor, then how there were money problems, pushing him into the Rutger’s pharmacy school, and a few other small mentions, like his mom crying on the phone when he had a successful trade show. Family is important to him, so I just wished Marc had written about what his mother and father thought of his later successes and failures, and how he helped them out when he became a success. That would have made the book even more down-to-earth (even though it already is, as I touch on below). Perhaps his parents didn’t want to be talked about in the book, but they seemed to be great parents so I’m sure it would be positive. The aspect I appreciated most about Unlabel was Marc’s honesty. From his fear, feelings of inadequacy, failures, moments when he said he was jerk, and the awful feeling he still carries with him from asking his early employees to use their personal credit cards to pay the company’s bills. He’s a businessman with a heart. And Marc is right, you rarely see this in other books by successful entrepreneurs. As a reader, it inspired me. Though Marc has achieved amazing success, it doesn’t seem unattainable thanks to his humility. Unlabel is not a book for the pretentious artist. I understand the struggle between art and business, but I also know what it feels like to be a starving artist. I grew up with my mother being a starving artist, and I’ve been a starving artist and entrepreneur for the past 10 years or so. It’s not fun. I have no problem with people making a great living creating their art and doing what they love as Marc stresses. It helps to be a starving artist at some time—it humbles you—but there’s no need to remain starving just because it makes you a “real” artist. Obviously, this is a great book for those interested in starting a clothing label—there’s lots of industry info. But it’s a great book for any “creative/artistic entrepreneur.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ben Dunay

    I knew little of Marc Ecko before reading his story, aside from knowing his clothing line and being reminded (while reading) that he's the guy who bought the Barry Bonds home run ball, branded it with an asterisk, and sent it off to the HOF a few years back… His book is a really good (and fun) read for anyone interested in business or entrepreneurship… and I'd imagine an even better read if you're into merchandising, or if you are a creative, etc. A few takeaways for me: - If you want to be succ I knew little of Marc Ecko before reading his story, aside from knowing his clothing line and being reminded (while reading) that he's the guy who bought the Barry Bonds home run ball, branded it with an asterisk, and sent it off to the HOF a few years back… His book is a really good (and fun) read for anyone interested in business or entrepreneurship… and I'd imagine an even better read if you're into merchandising, or if you are a creative, etc. A few takeaways for me: - If you want to be successful, you have to be proactive. Endless anecdotes here about Marc **taking action** on things from his earliest days as a kid, right up until present day. - If you want to be truly successful / truly happy, you should honor yourself by being as authentically you as possible (good advice for us all). - Failure will never go away, and you are "always pitching," no matter how successful you get. This is good perspective. In a lot of ways, I was reminded of Tony Hsieh's "Delivering Happiness" (aka "The Zappos Book"), as the building of Ecko was absurdly precarious at times, and the company was also on the brink of failure many, many times (as was Zappos). Both guys beat the odds and grew their companies into huge successes. These near-failures are good reminders of what it takes to really get the job done, especially at growing something at scale. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in business. It's a good reprieve from higher-level books that stick mostly to the theoretical, and it certainly gives as many good lessons (i.e. it won't be a waste of your time as an educational resource). Plus, you get stories about what it was like to hang w/Puffy back in the day, and that's always a plus.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mickey

    Marc Ecko has a voice that speaks directly to you. He tries to peel away the ideas of how to play everyone elses game and create your own. This is an autobiography in short, mixed with the way struggled to stay true to his art. It is a great read and will definitely change your perspective on the way you view yourself.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mitzi

    Kind of interesting at the beginning, but quickly got boring until I finally gave up before finishing. Not a whole lot of business advice, mostly just Marc Ecko's story. I might have liked it more if I knew who he was before I started reading, or was a fan of his brand.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    So, I've never heard of Ecko Unlimited, which should have told me I was the wrong audience for this book. I stuck it out, waiting for the marketing/business advice...but really it's just a long autobiography full of name-dropping and blame-shifting.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Maryam A-al khalifa

    you should never be busy counting! bad boys move in silence, made my understand the brand is person with his story, voice, failure and success

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    4.5 stars. I liked this book quite a bit (listened to the Audible version, so I didn't get the full hardcover effect I've read about in other reviews). As someone with very limited knowledge of the Ecko Unltd. brand (almost embarrassingly so) and Marc Ecko himself, I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of brand story arc. It proved to be an interesting one. As far as entrepreneurship books go, I much prefer a creative-turned-businessman story than a businessman-building-another-business narrativ 4.5 stars. I liked this book quite a bit (listened to the Audible version, so I didn't get the full hardcover effect I've read about in other reviews). As someone with very limited knowledge of the Ecko Unltd. brand (almost embarrassingly so) and Marc Ecko himself, I wasn't sure what to expect in terms of brand story arc. It proved to be an interesting one. As far as entrepreneurship books go, I much prefer a creative-turned-businessman story than a businessman-building-another-business narrative. I felt that Marc truly believed in his art and his brand, and it served him well, even if he learned some costly lessons along the way. This book is filled with interesting stories that I feel I should have heard before, but hadn't (the Barry Bonds home-run ball, for instance). I also appreciated the message to be true to yourself and your brand (which is essentially one in the same). Authenticity is important and ultimate success doesn't come without failure.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    I started this in e-book form a few years back. Picked up the audiobook and really dug in. Hearing Mark speak himself on each experience really changes the tone of the book. Lots of great life and business lessons and some very interesting side-notes I hadn't known prior. Whether you rocked ecko in high school, want a different perspective on business or just loved Complex magazine, this book should be on your list.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Xeno Hemlock

    Hilarious, pop culture-filled, and preachy (in a good way), towards the end part I asked myself, "Has this been made into a movie?" The lessons in the end will touch any creative who struggles with doubt and identity.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angel Salinas

    This book is entertaining and thought provoking. When ever I need a little lesson about authenticity -- I revisit this book. I love it. PS Todd Haberkorn does a great job voicing for the audio book. Mind you is really good!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diego Leal

    Really enjoyed it. Marc emphasized authenticity while growing his brand. Fun Fact: Lucky break to have a professor at Rutgers design a curriculum for him to barely come to class while still pursuing his t shirt business.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fabian Il.

    Not a bad book on branding but also not really memorable to me. Truth is the most important point that I got from it, meaning your brand needs to be authentic.

  18. 5 out of 5

    KungFu Drafter

    In today's world there number of voices has exploded beyond measure. Whether they come from blogs, books, magazines, newsletters, podcasts, Vine videos, or tweets it is becoming far too easy to miss worthwhile voices in the din of noise. So imagine how rare it is to just randomly reach into the stream and pull out not only a book that looks like it might be fun to read, but have it turn out to provide useful business-related information. TLDR? This book is a surprise. There. The entire book is the In today's world there number of voices has exploded beyond measure. Whether they come from blogs, books, magazines, newsletters, podcasts, Vine videos, or tweets it is becoming far too easy to miss worthwhile voices in the din of noise. So imagine how rare it is to just randomly reach into the stream and pull out not only a book that looks like it might be fun to read, but have it turn out to provide useful business-related information. TLDR? This book is a surprise. There. The entire book is the autobiography of Marc Ecko, a graffiti artist-turned clothing entrepreneur. Being that I am terminally unfashionable, I had never heard of him. But the story of his early years move along quickly and it doesn't take long before the story of this successes and setbacks becomes engaging. Soon you are riding along in the car with Ecko in much the same way you accompany your favorite TV show characters in each episode. Unlike most TV shows, Ecko's experiences have real lessons to teach. Towards the end, Ecko evens comes right out and spells this lessons out on the wall with big spray-painted letters. I won't say that you will cheer for Ecko. In fact, he is sort of unlikable in the many ways that real people are unlikable. What I will say is that anyone who does not admire this man's sheer honesty probably has issues with their own failure. Ecko makes no bones about doing things right. But he also admits to the things he did wrong. Ecko shits the rug and tells the full story in an effort to help others not do so. Maybe Ecko isn't as successful as Martha Stewart, Puff Daddy, or other millionaires. And Ecko Unlimited may not be a juggernaut like Apple or Google. What you can say about Ecko, and this book, is that where others who write business advice texts tell you all about success, Ecko tells both the highs and the lows. He discusses his transformation from shy kid to high roller and finishes as "smarter, but somewhat poorer" business person. This book may not be as well written as some biographies and business books, but it is real as hell and I think it will almost be in the top 10 best books I read in 2015.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Finley

    This book is largely the story of Marc Ecko - from chubby outcast, to aspiring graffiti artist, to entrepreneur, to fashion icon, to mainstream celebrity, and back to a more realistic "authentic" state of being - one TRUE to his creativity and internal guidance. It brands itself as somewhat of a how-to guide for clothing companies (or any brand really) on how to succeed without "selling out." But the actual how-to material isn't really that obvious and it's laced throughout the autobiographical This book is largely the story of Marc Ecko - from chubby outcast, to aspiring graffiti artist, to entrepreneur, to fashion icon, to mainstream celebrity, and back to a more realistic "authentic" state of being - one TRUE to his creativity and internal guidance. It brands itself as somewhat of a how-to guide for clothing companies (or any brand really) on how to succeed without "selling out." But the actual how-to material isn't really that obvious and it's laced throughout the autobiographical storytelling. Usually through lessons learned by Marc over the years. I find the story approach to be a compelling one. It's always good to see how others did it, and live through their failures and successes. But the book itself sometimes seems like another checkbox in Marc Ecko's "brand" story. But even if it is, it's still helpful to anyone starting a clothing company or trying to build a business while maintaining their roots. It talks about how to grow and not let success get to your head. But it isn't afraid to remind all us anti-corporate, punk rock, or DIY entrepreneurs that selling your stuff doesn't have to mean selling out. And that's a refreshing viewpoint where making a living from your art is often demonized as inauthentic. This book teaches by example how to stay true to yourself and maintain your own authority. There will be "gatekeepers" and critics telling you what you should do, and placating them to "level up" your business usually results in a sacrifice of your authenticity. Stay true brothers and sisters! Good luck with your brands!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chris Jennings

    For someone who knew very little about Ecko the brand and even less about Ecko the man, I really enjoyed this book. First off, it's one of the most visually stimulating books I've read in a while. Bright colors, illustrations, diagrams, equations, photos of celebrities from Marc's life, it's all here. Also can't remember the last book I read that came with stickers! Anyway, beyond all the visuals, Ecko tackles a very abstract thing and provides structure, guidelines, and a literal equation to bu For someone who knew very little about Ecko the brand and even less about Ecko the man, I really enjoyed this book. First off, it's one of the most visually stimulating books I've read in a while. Bright colors, illustrations, diagrams, equations, photos of celebrities from Marc's life, it's all here. Also can't remember the last book I read that came with stickers! Anyway, beyond all the visuals, Ecko tackles a very abstract thing and provides structure, guidelines, and a literal equation to build your brand. Countless stories from real life experiences help to reinforce Ecko's initially ephemeral branding formulas. Whether you're selling t-shirts out of your car or taking over a multi-national corporation, everyone can use Ecko's refreshing take on how to build a brand without selling out or losing your authentic voice. Come on now, how often do you see George Lucas endorse a book on the back cover? And a marketing book at that! Having just finished a Marketing Masters curriculum, this is the type of book that should have been on my reading lists. Hopefully the success of this book pushes other entrepreneurs to write new takes on this topic without the typical jargon and BS.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    On the one hand, I am saddened that this book isn't on the "must read" list. But on the other hand, not everyone will get this book. And I'm glad. This book is for creatives of all types. The people who don't fit the mold. Those people who want to create, and maintain, an authentic brand. The kind of brand that stays true to you. Whoever you are. The detailed chronicling of the successes and failures in this book is true to life. The attitude portrayed is one to be adopted. If you believe in the On the one hand, I am saddened that this book isn't on the "must read" list. But on the other hand, not everyone will get this book. And I'm glad. This book is for creatives of all types. The people who don't fit the mold. Those people who want to create, and maintain, an authentic brand. The kind of brand that stays true to you. Whoever you are. The detailed chronicling of the successes and failures in this book is true to life. The attitude portrayed is one to be adopted. If you believe in the Laws of Attraction, Prosperity, or Abundance, this book is a clear demonstration of those. If you don't believe, read it anyway. I had a preconceived mid-west notion of Marc Ecko prior to listening to this book. That notion was 100% inaccurate. This book will be a must read for all future partners, JV, teams, and employees. Even my kid is getting a copy of this book, in audio and hardcopy. Cursing and all.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Wayne Sun

    This is a book about execution. It's one of the most solid books out there that emphasizes how to build anything great. It's a book authored by a guy who has actually done things and has the scars to prove it. It has nuances, lessons, and honest, truthful, and incredible moments (from his home in Lakewood to negotiating and being at the helm of an acquisition target valued at $500mm -- damn!). You will not find a book this well articulated and put-together anywhere by any entrepreneur in similar This is a book about execution. It's one of the most solid books out there that emphasizes how to build anything great. It's a book authored by a guy who has actually done things and has the scars to prove it. It has nuances, lessons, and honest, truthful, and incredible moments (from his home in Lakewood to negotiating and being at the helm of an acquisition target valued at $500mm -- damn!). You will not find a book this well articulated and put-together anywhere by any entrepreneur in similar standing (saying this respectfully, there are not many prodigious creatives/communicators like Ecko out there). If you're looking for something to keep the fire burning, this is it. Buy it and read the shit out of it. You won't be disappointed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Full Disclosure: I listened to this book on Audible and really need to buy the hard copy to look at the visuals. I kept hearing about this book from the creative types in my life and thought I would experience it for myself. I was pleasantly surprised at this marketing/business/self affirmative driven book. Unlike other stuffy versions of how to start, run, and exams your business, it was presented as a story that I could follow along to while presenting unconventional methods that complimented Full Disclosure: I listened to this book on Audible and really need to buy the hard copy to look at the visuals. I kept hearing about this book from the creative types in my life and thought I would experience it for myself. I was pleasantly surprised at this marketing/business/self affirmative driven book. Unlike other stuffy versions of how to start, run, and exams your business, it was presented as a story that I could follow along to while presenting unconventional methods that complimented my business attitude. It's nice having someone with a similar mindset help you through what it means to run a business and still be true top yourself. From the guts to the skin.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    Required reading... This is required reading for anyone looking not only start a business to have deeper understanding of what moves them. Ecko is honest and open about both his business success and failures and it's really refreshing and inspirational. I've read a ton of business and philosophy books and this is by far one the best books I have read on both topics. Honestly it's one the best books I have ever read. This should mandatory reading in high school and or college course. I'll be sure Required reading... This is required reading for anyone looking not only start a business to have deeper understanding of what moves them. Ecko is honest and open about both his business success and failures and it's really refreshing and inspirational. I've read a ton of business and philosophy books and this is by far one the best books I have read on both topics. Honestly it's one the best books I have ever read. This should mandatory reading in high school and or college course. I'll be sure to have my teenage sone read it and have discussions with him along the way as he progresses through the book. What a great book!! Thanks Marc!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex Pyatetsky

    4 stars because it's an interesting story. In particular, it's a fascinating story of how businesses change as they go from the garage to global market and how their founders lives evolve from poor to hanging out with Puff Daddy. It's not especially well written and I thought the explicitly educational effort in it came off as pretty try hard. He would have written just as informative of a book that reads much better if it was proper memoir. Anyway, if you are capable of learning from case studies 4 stars because it's an interesting story. In particular, it's a fascinating story of how businesses change as they go from the garage to global market and how their founders lives evolve from poor to hanging out with Puff Daddy. It's not especially well written and I thought the explicitly educational effort in it came off as pretty try hard. He would have written just as informative of a book that reads much better if it was proper memoir. Anyway, if you are capable of learning from case studies and have ever had an interest in hip hop, graffiti, art, etc., this may resonate a bit more closely than Howards Schultz's book (for instance).

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Good read for creatives of the modern era Everyone has a gift to bring the world. I have always been a visually creative person who had a similar upbringing to Marc (without the juggernaut of success) on the east coast. I've been moderately successful in my career and always hit road blocks or impasses that make me question why I do what I do and how to separate my personal brand from the brand I work for. This was a good casual read to help me believe in myself and get over some road blocks and Good read for creatives of the modern era Everyone has a gift to bring the world. I have always been a visually creative person who had a similar upbringing to Marc (without the juggernaut of success) on the east coast. I've been moderately successful in my career and always hit road blocks or impasses that make me question why I do what I do and how to separate my personal brand from the brand I work for. This was a good casual read to help me believe in myself and get over some road blocks and fears to take the next step!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Howie Zisser

    I didn't know anything about Marc Ecko going into this book - I don't even know if I've ever worn any of his clothing, but I was recommended this book so gave it a shot. I was kind of blown away with his story. He had a unique rise from his early days, and he crossed paths between so many worlds and types of people. His account is very straight forward, no fluff or rah rah speeches to be found here. Entrepreneurship is hard, plain and simple. Fashion, hip hop, success and failure, controversy, Eck I didn't know anything about Marc Ecko going into this book - I don't even know if I've ever worn any of his clothing, but I was recommended this book so gave it a shot. I was kind of blown away with his story. He had a unique rise from his early days, and he crossed paths between so many worlds and types of people. His account is very straight forward, no fluff or rah rah speeches to be found here. Entrepreneurship is hard, plain and simple. Fashion, hip hop, success and failure, controversy, Ecko has navigated it all

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Primarily the story of Marc Ecko's rise to fame and how he built his business from his humble beginnings in his parent's garage, this book is also a great how-to in building your personal brand and working outside of the labels that others use to define you - especially if you're an artist of any type. Mostly I enjoyed this book because of the mix of illustration and storytelling that he uses to explain his theory of brand development. Definitely worth a read - even if you're just interested in Primarily the story of Marc Ecko's rise to fame and how he built his business from his humble beginnings in his parent's garage, this book is also a great how-to in building your personal brand and working outside of the labels that others use to define you - especially if you're an artist of any type. Mostly I enjoyed this book because of the mix of illustration and storytelling that he uses to explain his theory of brand development. Definitely worth a read - even if you're just interested in the biographical aspects of it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marc Rocket

    Great book. I couldn't put it down. It gave me a great many ideas on branding my own growing business and also was suspenseful, yup, suspenseful. Will he survive? Go bankrupt? Sell out & retire? It was a total page turner. Anyone starting a new brand will or has done many of the things Ecko did. It was great to learn how they played out for Marc & Seth. I did get a little lost on the concept of gate keepers vs goal keepers and wish there was an index for finding these concepts. I may nee Great book. I couldn't put it down. It gave me a great many ideas on branding my own growing business and also was suspenseful, yup, suspenseful. Will he survive? Go bankrupt? Sell out & retire? It was a total page turner. Anyone starting a new brand will or has done many of the things Ecko did. It was great to learn how they played out for Marc & Seth. I did get a little lost on the concept of gate keepers vs goal keepers and wish there was an index for finding these concepts. I may need to read it again.a

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kent Winward

    One of the more realistic business books I've read. The critical thing to do is act and then learn from the action -- kind of a lather, rinse, repeat deal. Funny thing, I actually bought an Ecko shirt with the Rhino like 15 years ago and was ridiculed for having been so old to buy such a hip brand (and not even knowing that it was a brand). I couldn't help but think about that as I read through the book and realized I'm much older now. The thing is I really liked that shirt.

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