Roughly 25 years ago, there was a young businessman up in Seattle, who bought the assets of a small coffee roasting company, rebranded his existing coffee houses, and began to take over the world. For the next couple of decades, Howard Schultz helped Starbucks spread like Star Trek’s Borg, colonizing territory and crushing competitors. Much like its ubiquitous cups, the company’s revenue went from tall to grande to venti The company was growing so rapidly, one jokester snarked they were opening their newest stores in the lobbies of existing stores.
Then Schultz stepped down, the economy tanked and Starbucks’ revenues and stock price went with it. Suddenly, its addictive brew wasn’t so addictive. And its revenues were shrinking to near demitasse size.
Or, at least, until Schultz rode back into town and helped the company regain its mojo. Which brings us to our book review of the week-ish, Schultz’s recent business memoir, “Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul”. Compelling and surprisingly honest, Schultz spares no one—not even himself—from a full review of what caused Starbucks’ slide—and what it took to get back to the top.
Fascinating reading from one of the world’s great entrepreneurs. Grab a copy and a cup of coffee to enjoy it with. Savor them both. But, remember, only one of them
will help your business.
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