Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles FEMALE SPEAKER: Hello, everyone. Welcome, fellow Googlers and guests. I am delighted to introduce to you today an extremely inspiring, thoughtful, and genuine person, the chairman and CEO of The Container Store, and the author of "Uncontainable," Kip Tindell. Kip has been the helm of The Container Store since its stores opened in Dallas in 1978. This is the first store that was devoted solely to organizational and storage products. The Container Store has stores nationwide now and a thriving website. But for Kip, the goal has never been growth for growth's sakes, but rather to adhere to the company's value-based foundation principles, which center around an employee-first culture, superior customer service, and strict merchandising. In November 2013 under Kip's leadership, The Container Store became a public company. The primary reason again for this being to get more stock into the hands of employees, to maximize the autonomy for the company's culture and management team and to have a more visible stage to create a conscious company that inspires others to emulate. Kip is also very actively involved in the community, dedicating time and resources to the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, serving on the board of Whole Foods Market. He is also the first vice chairman of the board, chairman of finance committee, and treasurer of the National Retail Federation. And last, but certainly not least, he is passionately involved as a leader in Conscious Capitalism, Inc., which is a community of like-minded business thought and academic leaders who are working to elevate humanity through a conscious approach to business. And before Kip begins telling us about his book, we have a short video to watch. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] -How do you build a business where everyone can thrive? By simultaneously creating value for everyone involved. For us, that starts with our employees. -Everything that I do and don't do matters and affects someone around me. And when you feel that kind of responsibility, going to work is exciting. I can't wait to get up and get my day started. That's what I love about working at The Container Store. I don't just sell products. I solve problems by helping our customers get organized, which I know can improve their lives. I can really focus on helping them, because I get the communication, training, and support I need from the company, my managers and team, I absolutely love-- -Walking into the store. No matter what my day's been like, I can always find a little bit of calm to take home. The employees are so happy and helpful, you can't help but smile. -And let me tell you, my kids notice when I'm less stressed. When I can find what I'm looking for, I have more energy and I can get everyone out the door on time. -The Container Store is more like a-- - --friend than a company. I'm not just a vendor to them. We're partners in success. They looked beyond the fact that I was just starting my business and they saw the potential in my product and in me. Because of our partnership, my business has grown tremendously. We've hired more people, developed new products, and even taken on a new factory. Together-- - --we've impacted so many lives. Our unique partnership over the years has impacted the way thousands of people think about their minds-- increasing creativity, organizing their minds, and increasing their capacity to think smarter. Our connection with The Container Store-- - --has helped us support many conscious businesses. Their commitment to their foundation principles, employee-first culture, and conscious capitalism is not just marketing spin. It's making a difference. The idea that you can make business decisions based on love and still be highly profitable is gaining momentum and credibility. And profits aren't a bad thing. They're what give businesses the ability to take better care of their employees and give more to their communities. It's not altruism. It's capitalism being done in a conscious way that ensures everyone-- - --All the customers-- - --the employees-- - --all the vendors-- - --the entire community-- - --and the shareholders-- - --can all thrive together. [END VIDEO PLAYBACK] FEMALE SPEAKER: Now if you can all help me in extending a warm welcome to Kip Tindell. [APPLAUSE] KIP TINDELL: Thank you. Thank you so much. Well, that's what we're trying to do at The Container Store is a create a business where everyone thrives. And we spend more time working than any other waking endeavor. And so I just think it's probably the best thing you can do with all those hours that you spend working, create a business where everyone thrives. And that means very much in the conscious capitalist stakeholder model, the employee thrives, the community thrives, the vendor thrives, the shareholder thrives. Everyone associated with the business thrives. How many of you have shopped at The Container Store? OK, that's pretty good. We have to work on you too. Well, we began in 1978 with one tiny little 1600-square-foot store in Dallas, Texas, with a whopping $35,000 in capital. And somehow we knew-- I don't know how, but somehow we knew that-- I mean, people think of The Container Store as saving space, getting you organized. But what I think we're really doing is giving our customers the gift of organization. You really have no choice but to be reasonably well-organized in your life if you're going to accomplish half of what you want to accomplish. Something as simple as getting two children ready for school in the morning is either a nightmare or a pleasure, depending upon how organized you are and they are. Traveling is so much simpler if you're reasonably well-organized. So I really do feel like we're giving the gift of an organized life to our customers. It was interesting starting the business. I mean, my dad, who's like, he's kind of a Texas oil man, right? He was like, you're going to open a store that sells empty boxes? I mean, he was really concerned about all that. But that's not really the target customer at all. So it all worked out. We run our company on seven foundation principles, which I won't be able to go into all in this little talk. But they're all available online at our blog, whatwestandfor.com. And these seven foundation principles are identical to the four tenants of conscious capitalism. And we've been operating that way since 1978. We just didn't know to call it conscious capitalism back then. And so they're simple, almost corny, "do unto others" type things that everybody agrees on. How many of you don't really agree with that "do unto others" thing? You think that's a bad idea? So see, everybody agrees with these simple things. One of them is Andrew Carnegie's statement. The great industrialist Andrew Carnegie was laying on his deathbed and attributed all his business success to the one credo, the one guiding light that fill the other guy's basket to the brim-- making money then becomes an easy proposition. Fill the other guy's basket to the brim-- making money then becomes an easy proposition. That's the exact opposite of what people are raised to believe, that business is somehow a zero sum game, where someone has to lose in order for you to win. And so that one foundation principle, fill the other guy's basket, has us creatively crafting mutually beneficial relationships with our vendors. And being able to compete with the giant, mass merchant retailers in America, because we can't beat them on volume necessarily. But we can beat them on relationship synergistic win-win, fill the other guy's basket relationship with these vendors. And you become your vendor's favorite customer. And you don't have to beat up your vendor to get ahead. It's far better to creatively craft that mutually beneficial relationship, which is only limited by your imagination and how much you can learn about each other's businesses. And then you form this synergistic relationship that is immensely more profitable than just the old power struggle, the tug and back and forth of trying to sort of beat up the vendor. And it's much more enjoyable. If you look at the companies that are dominating their niches-- and Google is a great example-- Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, Costco-- they're very good at those synergistic relationships. That's where actually more money is made. Conscious capitalism is not a sacrifice. Conscious capitalism actually makes you more profitable than if you were trying to do it the other way. And that's why I think that eventually, people like John Mackey, the Whole Foods guy, and I can quit trying to spread the word about conscious capitalism, because I think a good capitalist is going to eventually adopt that methodology which is most successful. And it's kind of a movement. And it's kind of beginning to happen like that. Skepticism is vanishing. Much to my delight and surprise, when we did our IPO roadshow, the largest institutional investors on Wall Street, all they really wanted to talk about was conscious capitalism and the quirky, yummy culture of The Container Store. I thought when I tried to talk about culture, they would roll their eyes and get impatient and think "Kumbaya" and all that. But I mean, skepticism is vanishing on this. And it's fun to give a presentation at Google because Google is a great example of it. So I encourage you to read about the foundation principles. They're simple. You can read about them on the blog, what we stand for. And they were created as a means to the end. We have 6,000 employees. We don't want to be 6,000 yahoos going in 6,000 different directions. So we agree on the ends, like fill the other guy's basket to the brim. And then everybody's enabled to choose their own means to the end. I don't think I'm smart enough. No one's smart enough to tell that many people how to handle any given situation. Because life's too situational. And certainly retail is too situational. So that unharnesses everybody to use their own individual creative genius to figure out how to get to that end. And you'll hear things like, well, why do we do it that way? Well, that's because of the Andrew Carnegie thing, the fill the other guy's basket to the brim. And what's remarkable about that, and it kind of surprised me how true it is, even though he never told all these people how to handle a particular circumstance, just liberating everybody to agree on these ends and choose their own means causes a circumstance that arises in the Miami store to be handled miraculously, the same as it is in the Seattle store. People are people. They're using individual means, but the ends are the same. Does that makes sense? I mean, it's just the old means to the end thing. I think it's oppressive to try to tell people how to get to the end.