Charles's Reviews > Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul

Onward by Howard Schultz
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Jan 22, 12

Read in January, 2012

I want to give this book 3.5 stars. Its interesting as a drama capturing the turn around of Starbucks in 2008 during the financial crisis. Like so many things during that era, the damage was self inflicted. The internal machinations of Schultz to return to the soul of Starbucks while updating and modernizing are relevant to many companies in the midst of incredible growth.What fascinates me is the emotion both positive and negative Starbucks evokes. I give them credit for many advancements but do think the notion of a personal chain is somewhat oxymoronic. But to realize Starbucks identity one has to go overseas where Starbucks is a refuge (interestingly McDonalds plays a similar role in other countries).

Though the book is a little polyannish in tone, it does an effective job of demonstrating how one unlocks value. Starbucks isn't about Coffee but it everything about coffee and seeing this definitional process unfold is worth a read so one can apply to one's own definitional challenges.
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