Congratulations to Explo alumni Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff on the release of their book, "Mission in a Bottle: the Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently." The book creatively chronicles the business story of Honest Tea, cofounded by Goldman and Nalebuff in 1998. (Illustration credit: Sungyoon Choi.)

Goldman and Nalebuff met as student and professor in a business school course at Yale, and years later started Honest Tea together. Goldman currently serves as President and CEO of Honest Tea, is a 1987 graduate of Harvard College, and a 1995 graduate of the Yale School of Management. Nalebuff chairs the Board of Honest Tea, is the Milton Steinbach Professor of Economics and Management at Yale School of Management, a graduate of MIT, a Rhodes Scholar, a Junior Fellow at Harvard Society of Fellows, and holds a doctorate from Oxford University.

Mission in a Bottle is receiving wide praise from other authors and leaders in entrepreneurial business.

From the Classroom to the Tea Room

While attending the Yale School of Management, Goldman studied with Nalebuff. During one of his classes, Nalebuff assigned students a case study about soft drink choices. A few years later, and thirsty for the perfect drink to satisfy his active and healthy lifestyle, Goldman contacted his former professor.

The men remembered classroom discussions about the beverage industry...they agreed there was a dearth of healthy and tasty options.

Nalebuff had just returned from a trip to India where he’d been researching the tea industry for a case study. The men remembered their classroom discussions about the beverage market: it was saturated with super-sweet, sugary drinks or beverages that were too watery. They agreed there was a dearth of healthy and tasty options somewhere in the middle. Enter Honest Tea. Within a few months, the two men were huddled in Goldman’s kitchen brewing their first few batches of tea. Today, Honest Tea is the top selling organic bottled tea and is sold at over 100,000 retailers and restaurants nationwide.

Within a few months, they were huddled in Goldman's kitchen brewing their first batch of tea.

Their Story in Pictures

Goldman and Nalebuff’s book details their entrepreneurial journey with Honest Tea, “a guide to building a mission driven business in a profit driven world” written for “entrepreneurs, leaders, and anyone with a dream.” In typical Explo fashion, Goldman and Nalebuff did not write this book in a conventional way. Mission in a Bottle is a pictorial adventure that reads almost like a comic book. Though lighthearted in presentation, the work is a success story about creating a business and building a brand. It also addresses the personal lives and struggles of its co-founders during their 15-year journey. As the book illustrates, Honest Tea’s success is based on real economic principles taught and learned in Nalebluff’s classroom at Yale.


Learn more about the book, these Explo alums, and Honest Tea itself at the book’s website.