July 16, 2007

Starbucks, Starbucks, Everywhere, Part II

Starbucks, Starbucks, Everywhere, Part II In 2004, I blogged about Starbucks’ implausible Forbidden City location (post includes picture) in the heart of one of China’s most prominent national monuments. Today, under pressure from the Chinese government, Starbucks announced that they’re closing the location, reflecting “Chinese sensitivity about cultural symbols and unease over an influx of foreign pop culture,” according to a very short blurb about this in today’s Wall Street Journal. It must be indescribably different to live in a society that’s so tightly controlled.


May 16, 2006

Sticking it to United, Just a Little Bit

Sticking it to United, Just a Little Bit I am sitting in the Red Carpet Club waiting for yet another delayed United flight, and there’s a small thing bringing me a little extra joy. I recently started using Verizon’s Broadband Wireless service, which is expensive at $60/month, but awesome since it basically works anywhere and eliminates the need for hotel, Starbucks, and other Wi Fi hot spot fees (and for a great tutorial on how to use the service to power two computers at once, read Brad’s post here). I’ve long been annoyed at United — and American as well […]


November 17, 2005

Book Short: Underdog Victorious

Book Short:  Underdog Victorious The Underdog Advantage, by David Morey and Scott Miller, was a worthwhile read, though not a great book.  It was a little shallow, and although I enjoyed its case studies (who doesn’t love hearing about Ben & Jerry’s, Southwest, JetBlue, Starbucks?), I didn’t feel like the authors did enough to tie the details of the success of the case study companies back to the points they made in the book. That said, the book had some great reminders in it for companies of all sizes and stages.  The main point was that successful companies always think […]


July 11, 2004

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

I’ve always thought that the ability to stare down adversity in business — or turning lemons into lemonade, as a former boss of mine used to say — is a critical part of being a mature professional. We had a prime example of this a couple weeks ago at Return Path. We had scheduled a webinar on email deliverability, a critical topic for our market, and the moment of the webinar had come, with over 100 clients and prospects on the line for the audio and web conference. There was a major technical glitch with our provider, Webex (no link […]


June 29, 2004

Starbucks, Starbucks, Everywhere

A while ago, Fred Wilson wrote a posting about the incredible ubiquity Starbucks has achieved in recent years. I wrote a comment at the time, but I never know who actually reads blog comments other than the author. The comment was: Talk about ubiquity…my wife and I were just travelling in Asia and saw many Starbucks there, which was not a surprise. The one that WAS a surprise, however, which completely blew me away, was the Starbucks located in the middle of the Forbidden City/Imperial Palace in Beijing, the 600+ year old home of China’s emperors from the Ming and […]