Posted by admin on 06.17.2009 at 2:49 pm
Last week, our own Xavier Helgesen sat down with Cris Valerio at Bloomberg TV to talk about our company, our mission and how the whole thing got started. Check it out!
Posted by King on 02.20.2009 at 6:10 pm
If I had a nickel for every dollar we had raised for world literacy, I would have $272,906.50. Approximately. That’s not too shabby. For those of you playing along at home, I took the total “funds raised for global literacy” number from the ticker at the top of this page and multiplied it by .05. In addition to promoting literacy, I also support mathematics.
If you don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I am Aaron King, and I have the illustrious honor of being Better World Books’ first full time employee. If you ordered any books from us way back in 2003, there is a pretty good chance that I personally packaged them. It has been a pretty cool journey watching us grow from a small basement warehouse (where we had to hand carry every single box of books up and down the stairs) with a few thousand books scattered around to our massive operation today that holds over 2 million books at any given time.
I like our company concept a lot. Why, might you ask? Well, to be consistent with how we have branded this blog, allow me to give you a n#mb#r#d list.
Posted by admin on 01.09.2009 at 9:42 am
For all you tweet lovin’ folks out there, Xavier just signed up and will be tweeting over @BWBXavier. Also, if you haven’t gotten the word, check out @BWBooks for our normal feed.
Lastly, did anyone see how many people tweeted about our TechCrunch story yesterday? I counted over 100… crazy. Check out the tweets at http://search.twitter.com/search?q=better+world+books
Have your say » | Tagged The Man Behind the Curtain, twitter, xavier
Posted by Xavier on 12.23.2008 at 11:30 am
“Friends, Readers, Customers, lend me your eyes”
It’s not often you take the time to tell someone how important they are to you. So first things first, we’d like to say thanks for all you do. Literacy has been recognized as a human right for over 50 years, yet 1 in 7 people is still illiterate. Illiteracy is at the heart of poverty, hunger and war from the Congo to California. Six years ago, we were just two recent college grads running a single book drive, and we didn’t think we’d have much impact past the community center in South Bend. Since then you’ve taken us from Sudan to Brazil to Mexico, showing us the incredible power that social entrepreneurs can have in building a more literate world.
Since that first book drive, you have raised over $4.6 million for literacy by making the conscious choice to buy from Better World Books. Each book bought has been another book in the hands of someone like William from Malawi, (see attached picture) who built a windmill in his village solely based on a picture in a donated engineering book! Each book bought is another day that a girl in Vietnam goes to school (see other picture). Who knows what will she be capable of? There are too many more stories to tell and people to thank.
They say the best part of the holidays is giving, so this is the part where we ask you for a favor. It’s now, in these crazy economic times, we need your support more than ever. Anyone can help when times are good, but it’s these times of adversity when those who are without need us most. It’s hard to ask any more of you, so we’ll make this part easy with three things you can do to make an even bigger impact for those in need:
1. Watch the new video from Invisible Children to see why it matters where you buy your books.
2. Forward this e-mail to at least 10 friends & family. You’re our marketing department. Help us spread the word.
3. Buy BetterWorld.com gift certificates as gifts for your loved ones this Christmas. They get to choose from millions of new and used books while funding literacy. It’s the simplest way you can support our movement.
Without you, none of this would be possible. We wish you well these holidays and just wanted you to know that we’re thinking of you.
Thanks for all you do,
Xavier & Kreece, Founders of Better World Books
Posted by Xavier on 11.13.2008 at 5:34 pm
I had the pleasure of speaking to the 2008 Green Business Conference yesterday in my lovely home city of San Francisco. I was on a panel that addressed the way businesses and financial institutions were handled the crazy financial times we’re in. Let me tell you, people could not be more optimistic. With the lost credibilty of the world of high finance and greed, people are hungering for something more real and authentic. The Green Business community provides this in spades.
I would like to claim that I stole the show, but that honor goes hands down to Tom Szaky of Terracycle. In a true show of audacity, he proposed the elimination of the concept of waste in favor of “upcycling”. In his company, Caprisun pouches are turned into tote bags and old floppy disks into jot pads. What separates Tom is not just that he’s a visionary, but that he’s scaled his enterprise, growing over 100% a year and working with some of the biggest names in packaged goods.
Posted by Xavier on 10.13.2008 at 3:08 pm
David Murphy, CEO of Better World Books, and yours truly are speaking at the inaugural Social Capital Markets in San Francisco. This is truly a landmark event – the first conference I’ve ever heard of based on investing with a social impact.
David is speaking in a session on “pitching your ideas”. On the panel with David are:
Ben Black from New Cycle Capital. New Cycle just closed a $30 Million fund to invest in conscious companies.
Karyn Barsa, CEO of Investors Circle, was formerly CEO of Smith & Hawken and COO of Patagonia. Investors’ Circle is a network of socially conscious angel investors.
Moderating is Tess Reynolds from New Door Ventures.
Ben says that a warm introduction is key. In this day of LinkedIn and Facebook, any entrepreneur worth their salt ought to be able to make a connection with the funder you want.
Posted by Xavier on 10.07.2008 at 2:47 pm
In case you’ve been in some Rip Van Winkle-esque coma since the dot com days, the American economy is in free-fall right now. Its as though a 700 lbs. chicken has come home to roost in our San Francisco neighbor’s china shop. I’d be lying if I said we weren’t a little jumpy here at Better World Books. While many of you reading this may dispute it – books aren’t an “essential” item and are more likely to be cut from consumer spending when budgets are tight. We are hopeful, however, that the superior value of used books (especially those bought online) will make BetterWorld.com a more appealing option in this age of high gas prices.
We need to turn this economy around and I’m an ardent believer that a truly green economy is our answer. The economic opportunity to reuse items (such as the Better World Books model), to build renewable energy sources, and to make our homes and businesses more energy efficient is a trillion dollar opportunity that can’t be outsourced. I believe Better World Books is a perfect example of this. We’ve taken over an old packaging plant in post-industrial Mishawaka, Indiana and created a lot of jobs. These aren’t just your standard warehouse pick-and-pack. They include high-paying jobs in technology and analytics.
Posted by Xavier on 10.06.2008 at 2:21 pm
People’s perception of Better World Books’ marketing success, or lack thereof, always surprises me. Some people are stunned that we have established a nationwide college book drive campaign, partnerships with the nation’s top libraries, and millions of customers, while not having a marketing budget or even a marketing staff until the spring of last year. Others tell me, “wow, it’s awesome what you guys do, you really need to start telling people about it because I’ve never heard of you before.” The funny thing is, they’re both right.
People are so used to bad marketing that they often don’t recognize good marketing as marketing at all. Every time someone walks into our office, that is marketing. Every time they meet a member of the Better World Books team and have a positive impression, that is marketing. Every time a customer is flabbergasted, they are going to tell people, and that endorsement won’t cost us a dime. It’s awfully tough to fake authenticity and passion,and that’s why I believe that everyone in a company is working in marketing, whether they like it or not.
Posted by admin on 09.19.2008 at 11:07 am
Courtesy of Network admin, Nate, enjoy this YouTube video of co-founder Xavier getting a pie to the face (and some silly string) during a company presentation in South Bend from COO/co-founder Kreece. Happy 30th birthday, X!
Posted by admin on 05.23.2008 at 10:36 am
Maybe you’re a better man than I, but I can’t read Finnish. I know what you’re thinking, “Jack, in your studies at Holy Cross you never got through Hurskas Kurjuus by Sillinpaa? Shame, shame!” I know, believe me.
However, if you have Finnish under control maybe you can tell us what this awesome full page pull out says in KD or as they know it “Kristillisdemokraattinen viikkolehti” (yes, that is the title of the newspaper… seriously). So far on the site I’ve ascertained that “Etusivu = homepage” and “Arkisto = archive.”
If you can find it, in the March 30th edition we got some awesome press (I think…):
“Lukutaidon edistamiseen jo mlijoonia dollareita: Haaveilen jo koulussa yrityksesta, jonka toimintaan liittyisi erottamattomasti hyvantekevaisyys, sanoo Xavier Hegelsen.”
Hey… I recognize something there!
[Update, I think "Haku" is search but I have yet to find the article in the archives... I'll keep you posted!]
[Update 2: This is an interview with Xavier! Scandanavia loves its own!]
For more press about Better World Books go HERE.
- Aaron King africa ARC betterworld.com better world books fund Better World Books in the field blog book drive book drives book reviews books books for africa bookstore campus chicago children's books conferences dana barrett david murphy green festival green for all hilarious posts Impact invisible children library literacy literacy statistics massachusetts Natasha National Center for Family Literacy NCFL off-topic Our Partners partner updates Pat Plonski Phi Theta Kappa podcast Poll Wednesday press room to read Show Us Some Love social entrepreneurship Spooky Book of the Day worldfund Xavier Helgesen
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