These two books got into my reading list mostly because of Vivek. The number of times he mentioned instances from this book, I had to know what the Starbucks story is all about. And I’m glad I did read these two. I expected a simple and smooth story about Starbucks. Didn’t expect so many ups and downs within the company. This post is my key takeaways from the two books. I actually believe these two books should be read together since they both share the entire story of Starbucks from start to end.
Key takeaways from the first book
- It was crazy to imagine Starbucks CEO/Chairman as one of the early employees of Starbucks (and not the original founders). Shocked to see when the founders decided to sell Starbucks to one of the early employees. Makes me believe that passion for the idea is a lot more important than being the co-founder of a company. Can even attest to this fact, having seen people more passionate than myself at HackerRank, a set of people I can any day call as founders.
- Surprised by the fact that someone can be so passionate about coffee.
- It is strange to imagine Starbucks even called something else called “Il Giornale”. When you know about the early name & story of the companies (say Nike or even HackerRank), it has a different story to it.
- It is very hard even to imagine the world before Starbucks. Some of the coffee they had to “invent” is my usual in the current world. It is like explaining the world without the Internet or Google to someone.
Key takeaways from the second book.
- Again, crazy to imagine Schultz would imagine becoming the CEO after being the Chairman for a while. Again, shutting down the whole company for two days to make sure everyone can train to become a better baristas.
- Looks like no matter how big a company is, constant innovation is a must. Innovation seems to be oxygen for every company out there. And never imagined them to innovate in all aspects (coffee beans, vending machines) and everything else that goes along with that.
- It is amazing to see how much Schultz focuses on the customer experience. He was particular about the height of the coffee vending machine so that the barista can have eye contact/good conversation with the customers while making the coffee.
The first book seems to be a happy story and the second one goes into detail about all the struggles when a company is re-inventing itself. Strongly recommend reading both if you are building a company or a team.