Jim's Open Road
Go For What Makes You Happy (0:31)
Taking A Risk (0:23)
Culture & Values (1:15)
Public Television: Season Two
Samuel Adams Beer
beer, business school, climbing, consulting firm, expectations, happiness, law school, outdoors, outward bound, perception, resources, wealth
After completing a year of both law school and business school, twenty-four-year-old Jim Koch had a life-altering revelation and he dropped out of college. During his extended break, Jim worked as an Outward Bound instructor, a job that gave him a chance to spend time outdoors. Despite the good time he was having, Jim eventually realized that the work he was doing "didn't have a forty-year future," so he returned to school. By the time he was twenty-nine, he graduated with a JD and an MBA from Harvard. For the next several years, he had a lucrative, prestigious job at the Boston Consulting Group. Although he liked the work and appreciated the perks, he got restless again. In his mid-thirties by then, Jim knew he'd be unhappy if he spent the next ten or fifteen years doing the same thing. After soul searching, his mission became clear: He would provide Boston with a first-class beer. His decision made perfect sense to him. Convinced that a world-class city needed a world-class beer, he started his own company to elevate Boston to its rightful status. As Jim predicted, his life's work has made him happy. What he didn't predict, however, was that the "nice, little local company in Boston" that he started on a shoe-string budget would gain national acclaim. Back then, when he made his first batch of Samuel Adams beer in his kitchen, he never expected the kind of success he has had.