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The Republic of Tea: The Story of the Creation of a Business, as Told Through the Personal Letters of Its Founders
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The Republic of Tea: The Story of the Creation of a Business, as Told Through the Personal Letters of Its Founders

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Almost all of us have at some point dreamed of  starting our own business but have not been able to  get past our fear, anxiety, and uncertainty about  pursuing those dreams. Through a 20-month  exchange of faxes, The Republic Of Tea  chronicles the feelings and emotions of three  partners as they confront their fears and dreams to  create an enormously successful start-up ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Currency (first published 1992)
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Lamec Mariita
Jan 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
If you think about creating a business and you have questions or fears then you must read this book. The author reveals the thoughts and processes he went through to put up his new business. This book documents Mel & Patricia Ziegler's next venture and details how they developed the business. It is like an adventure as you follow the letters to each other with new ideas. It's an interesting book.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This book shows an authentic look at the formation of a company- in this case, The Republic of Tea. The co-founders faxed back and forth when they were hatching their initial ideas and plans, and those faxes (with some additional commentary to provide color) are reproduced here. Most business books are retrospective, tending to highlight selectively from failures or successes. This book offers candor in place of polish. I especially appreciate how broad the founders kept their ideation in the ea ...more
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I very much agree with Seth Godin that this is one of the best business books around.

The book traces the formation of a business idea, through to the creation of the actual business.

If you're an entrepreneur, or hang out with entrepreneurs, you'll probably find multiple resonances in this amazing book.
Linda Andrews
Not sure what to make of it

The first part of the book seems like the beginning of a cult, the second part might be about starting a business but it is hard to find content other than loving the business you want to build.
Hunter Pechin
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a sentence: A successful businessman has mastered himself.
Brad Felix
Jan 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dear Leaves,

I cannot find the courage to start this business, so I'm going to continue sending you boring research and non-creative ideas.


Dear Progress,

I hate all your stupid ideas, but let me motivate you with some West Coast, tea thoughts. I can't believe this worked for Banana Republic.


Above is my take, in essence, of the personality of the characters involved in this book. Overall, I found the business idea and strategy formation behind TRoT to be very frustrating. I think th
Anita Ashland
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it
A business book in the form of letter is pretty unique. The downside is that the narrative dragged at times. There were enough insights throughout to make it worthwhile. Here are a few:

"Ultimate success in business will depend on whether the business person is yielding and flexible and responsive enough to go with the unknowns as they present themselves, day by day."

“Practice not-doing, and everything will fall into place...“Not-doing,” I discovered, was not at all about whether I worked or did
Andy Parkes
Nov 16, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015-reading
Having seen this on a few "top business books" list I thought I'd give it a go (if it's good enough for Seth Godin...)

What's great about this is that it shows the creation of a company from that initial spark of an idea through the big dreams stage up to an actual paying customer

It's not a traditional business book though as it's just the correspondence of a few people (faxes!)

A very different but interesting read

Elie Harriett
Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book not only has a great model for a legitimate business plan in it, it also has questions every entrepreneur should ask before beginning one. I know it has gotten me to go back to my own business plan and relook at it with a different point of view. Should be required reading for anyone who wishes to start an effective business.
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
I enjoyed how this book did not sugarcoat the process of starting a business. It is amazing that they kept all of the faxes back and forth and it tells a nice story along with their philosophy of life and business. One day I was reading it while enjoying some Ginger Peach to from TRoT and the section I happened to be reading was about the creation and benefits of this tea.
Austin Storm
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2012
None of the practical details on how to start a business.

But the best description of the entrepreneurial process I've ever read. Reading about the idea experience felt true. The struggles to define a vision, and getting discouraged and going off-course. The whole thing is crazy - a must-read.
Feb 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Dad for the Christmas Present. Interesting lay out of the thought process behind building a business. Well organized, insightful and even a little funny sometimes. Wouldn't have minded more background on the two letter-writers
What I Learned: Sit back and sip your tea.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
In 1992 or 93, having read a review of this book, I bought it and absolutely loved reading these fun and whimsical letters between the founders as the played at brainstorming an idea for a new business.
Aug 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Pretty good book about the start of a tea business. Told through the faxes that the founders sent back-and-forth over the course of 2 years in the early 1990's.

Key thoughts: every business is different, let the business grow by itself - don't force it.
Daniel Fell
Sep 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
One of the best business books I have ever read. Pre-email, this book is a wonderful collection of the creative process as told through letters between the two founders of the Republic of Tea. A must read for anyone thinking of starting their own business.
Josh Allred
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really liked reading the insights of Mel Ziegler. I appreciated his take on what a business should be. Also enjoyed seeing the progression of Bill Rosenzweig and what he overcame to stand on his own.
Nick Woodall
Loved this book! A gem in the rough.
Melanie Hughes
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Creative and fun, but you kept waiting for them to get to the point and start the business. Gets to the psychology of taking the leap to becoming an entrepreneur.
Nov 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I love tea and was drawn to this book because of that. And the lessons I learned as a result was cream on top.
Santi Widyarini
Jan 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Reading this book is really like Mel described when he drank his tea, "sip to sip".
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Very inspiring and light-hearted for a business book.
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“time before history” is because it was an era that came and went without leaving a trace of itself. Since nothing went “wrong, ” nobody had any reason to write anything down. It was lived, not recorded.” 0 likes
“You’ve got to know your niche! And a niche begins small. We have to concentrate on our niche in a very tangible, practical, and real way!” 0 likes
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