This craft brewer broke all the rules of business and you should too

BrewDog isn’t your run-of-the-mill beer maker. Founded in Scotland in 2007 by James Watt and Martin Dickie, the brewery became popular fast and needed money to aid in expansion. Unconstrained by traditional business practices, Watt and Dickie came up with a different idea. As Watt recently told Yahoo Finance: “We couldn’t get money from the banks. We needed money to buy equipment to expand our business, so we turned to the people who enjoy the beers that we make. So we’ve got 40,000 equity punk investors who’ve been with us since 2009. It’s the heart and soul of our business, and we don’t just have investors — they’re ambassadors, advocates, and they’ve really been key [in] turning our business into what it is today.”And what they are today, according to the Guardian newspaper, is a company that has grown operating profits by 112% annually since 2011. BrewDog expects to produce the equivalent of 264 million pints of beer annually by the end of 2016. Helping to drive that growth will be expansion in the United States. “We acquired a 42-acre site in Columbus, Ohio,” Watt told us, “and our new production facility there is half-built, so we should be making beer in the U.S. by late 2016.”For those inspired by BrewDog’s unorthodox business practices, Watt has a new book, Business for Punks: Break All the Rules — the BrewDog Way, detailing how and why he and Dickie decided to go against tried and true business school methods.On following the advice of others “Advice is for idiots. If you’re going to fail, fail on your own terms, make your own mistakes and don’t listen to what anyone says.”On networking “It’s a complete waste of time. People with big egos feeding those egos with slaps on the back and lukewarm canapés. Ignore it.”On stealing from others “You’ve got to find inspiration from everywhere except your own industries. So steal, bastardize, get inspiration from all round about you and take that into your industry and make it better.”On job interviews “The only thing you find out at a job interview is how good someone is at a job interview. It’s a terrible way of ascertaining if someone’s a good fit for your business.”Don’t start a business … start a crusade!“It’s all about the mission. People don’t care so much about what you’re doing they care about why you’re doing it. … Start with ‘why.’ That underpins a lot of what we do. Our mission is to make other people as passionate about great craft beer as we are and that is our guiding light. That is our true north, and that is what we focus on.”More from Yahoo FinanceNational Margarita Day: Three recipes to celebrate withYahoo Finance cocktail of the week: The wild rideHow to make James Bond’s favorite drink: The MartiniBusinessJames Watt


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