Personally, I've never liked Starbucks coffee. I'm more of an organic, grind my own whole beans and use a french press guy. I personally believe if you need cream and three sugars to choke down a cup of coffee, it's not that great. (heck, a little over one third of their profits are from the frappuccino).
Still, I have to respect the company, and Howard Schultz, the man who built it. McDonald's is not successful because their food is great. Anyone can make a better hamburger. But, McDonald's built a system that was replicable. Starbucks doesn't make a great cup of coffee, in fact, their quality control is in trouble right now (author's point, not mine). As are the growers of the beans, getting paid next to nothing. What Henry did do, though, was build a system so successful that it was even able to put two multi-million dollar locations 15 yards apart. Visit them both, and they have a different feel. Starbucks even nurtures our vanity: "At Starbucks, being finicky was celebrated; this was a place that actually glorified and indulged our neurotic tendencies."As a believer and cheerleader for humanity, these neurosis are troubling to me.
Clark brings up another amazing point: "When we see someone giving more attention to the precise, scientific application of Splenda to their morning cappuccinos than they seem to bestow on their own personal hygiene, do we even bother to raise an eyebrow anymore?" For me, this has become a growing annoyance for years, and not only with Starbucks, or our coffee, but our behaviors in general.
Inconsistency. That some people can care so much about their hair, yet never brush their teeth because they don't have time. That some people will order the extra large, extra cheese, extra sausage pizza, but order a diet coke because they're watching their weight. That some people know all of the right moves to get what they want, and yet still care more about who gets kicked off the island. Howard Schultz built a system of consistency, and delivered exactly what we wanted as consumers. He said he would do it, followed through on his vision and is now worth 2.5 billion.
So, what are you inconsistent about? What are you consistent with? Can you build your own Starbucks? Know what you want, and go get what you want!