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on 19 December 2014
Not a bad yarn, something to read in those quiet moments. If you are looking for a how to, or a book where you will be able to gather any real information for your own business, this isn't it.

It's a nice story about a business that starts up and thrives, which we all like to hear. They created a great success and good on them. Would I list it in my top 10 business books, certainly not. But it's something pleasant to read on the bus, tube, ferry etc etc, or pop it beside the toilet for when you are on the job.
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on 22 March 2017
The book it's ok, good motivation but "anyone" can do it? when they are investor banker and a lawyer ?....is a bit awkward.

If you can spend more than a year without work traveling, then yes, well done.
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on 5 June 2017
Excellent book for someone thinking of starting a business but not having the first clue where to begin. Insightful!
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on 1 June 2006
I've read a number of books on how to start a business.

The only criticism of this book that I will accept is that it is sketchy on details, and you may have to supplement it with a more specialised book on starting a small business.

However I think this was also a strength of the book. Instead of drowning you in details, they get to the point really quickly, and describe the key things that you need to do. I also kept finding myself thinking that the points they were making were right on the money.

I reject the critcism that they come from such a priviledged background, that success was assured. I think that this is missing the whole point of the book. Whatever your starting circumstances are, you can follow these steps and establish a business. It may happen quicker if you have a lot of money already, and you may not have to juggle a day job at the same time.

However if you really want to do it, you can, whatever you started with. There are plenty of examples of people who've done this from all sorts of backgrounds.

So the real issue with this book is whether the information in it is likely to help you start up your own business.

I think this book definitely achieves that.

The approach they give you is spot on. Even better than that, is how they demystify some of the steps, and encourage anybody to have a go at it. Most of it isn't rocket science. Some of the steps may require some technical assistance, but they make it clear that a lot of that assistance can be obtained for free, if you are proactive enough to go and look at what's available.

I found this book useful and inspiring, and not just as a good read. It's a genuine guide to what you need to do to start a business.
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on 17 August 2016
I expected to read a more personalised story of the rise of the two entrepreneurs but was surprised to read more about how to raise a hard core business plan, engage with surveyors, hire staff etc in order to launch a dream business. So this book would be ideal for someone looking to set up a business but not for someone like me who wanted just to read about how successful businesses are set up.
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on 26 February 2004
First things first -- there is a lot of very good advice in this book; it's engagingly written and easily absorbed.
But it is hardly fair for the Hashemis to regard themselves as just like "anyone" or even as "normal". Not everybody's father gives them £10000 to play with to teach them about investment (and writes off the loss without a qualm) and not everyone does a quick review and finds all their friends are investment bankers or top-flight lawyers (with the resulting contacts). Hardly the ordinary man or woman's experience. Taking a risk when you are young, single and aren't going to wreck your whole life by a mistake you can pick yourself up from is a different kettle of fish from when you are mortgaged, with a home and family to support. The Hashemis do inhabit a different world from the majority of their likely readers.
But that's a criticism more of the impression given by the choice of title than of the book itself. Even after aiming off for the self-confidence brought about by the silver spoon/over-achieving background, you still have a very good book with lots of good advice But as an antidote to the Pollyanna tone of the Hashemis, temper your decision by reading boo.hoo by Ernst Malmsten as well.
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on 5 February 2007
This is a great read, well written, and highly inspirational. Proves that sucessful business ideas can come from the simplest of conversations. Real insight into the basics of business finance, and general start up issues.
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on 5 September 2014
A very good read. Profiles honestly, the pleasures and pains of starting a business from scratch. Although I am slightly sceptical of Sahar and Bobby's "lack of business experience" (Bobby was once an investment banker, Sahar a lawyer), the book really is a good inspiring read. Which is what I was after.
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on 30 May 2006
This is two books blended into one [just like coffee] - one, the human story of building coffee republic, the soul searching of Sahar and Bobby after their father's death, the journey, the obstacles and goof-ups and all; the other, more like a business book, with 57 laws, advise and sample business plans etc. From the structure, it seemed that the authors wanted to make it the latter - a business advise book. I have, however, given a 5-star to the former, the human story.

Dont read it if you are just looking for how to start a business handbook. There are those free guides from Business Link which will do better. Not only that - once you read this book, you may start feeling that you got to be incredibly lucky and well-placed [read the comments about going without an income for two years in other reviews] to become an entrepreneur. That's not the morale of this story here, at all.

But if you are looking for a real story how people build a business, you will find it right here. All in the package - starting with the motivation [Father's death and introspection in this case], the idea [Not a new microchip, but something they noticed and enjoyed in US], the development [Sahar moving around with a camera in New York, the business plan, the failures] and the actual process of business [getting a site, a loan, suppliers, employees and customers, complete with goof-ups and strokes of luck].

The best bit of the book? You will have to wait till the end. No, I am not trying to give out the plot - but I am sure you will discover why this real, humane story of entrepreneurship deserved a 5-star.
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on 9 February 2004
No seriously I didn't like coffe before reading this quite superb inspirational journal of how the Hasemi's lauiched their Coffee Republic. They make coffee sound so convincing, so real, so lushious that I'm drinking lots now and I never liked it before. They fire you up with their infectious enthusiasm. Good book. Add it to your start-your-own-business collection along with Ros Jay's The White Ladder Diaries, Caspian Woods' From Acorns - ... How to Build Your Brilliant Business From Scratch and the simply brilliant The Beermat Entrepreneur: What You Really Need to Know to Turn a Good Idea into a Great Business by Mike Southon, Chris West.
Yep, these four are the best. They are helping me grow my business very successfully. Thank you.
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