Writing is Networking for Introverts: How Starbucks Lost Its Way


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 08, 2023

4 min read


Writing is Networking for Introverts: How Starbucks Lost Its Way

In a world where personal connections are crucial for success, networking has become a buzzword that is often associated with extroverts. However, there is a solution for introverts who may find networking challenging - writing. Writing allows introverts to give people some context and outsource the extroversion to them. It is a way to be famous to the right people, a concept known as microfame.

When you write about your interests, you not only give people a glimpse into your world but also attract individuals who share the same interests. It is a way to expand your network and connect with like-minded individuals who can potentially open doors to new opportunities. Writing becomes a powerful tool for introverts to network and build relationships.

But what happens when a progressive company loses its way? Starbucks, once known for its warm gathering spots and comfortable ambiance, has undergone a brand transformation that has left many customers feeling disconnected. The excessive digitalization and focus on convenience have caused Starbucks to lose the human relationships and hospitality that it was originally valued for. The introduction of technology, such as the Starbucks mobile app powered by Deep Brew, has streamlined internal processes but compromised the customer experience.

Starbucks Pickup with Amazon Go, a tech-enabled caffeine depot, symbolizes the challenges that Starbucks faces today. In the drive-through, Starbucks learned that complex food offerings can cause delays. To simplify and expedite orders, menu boards now feature large visuals and paired food and beverage items. However, this focus on efficiency has led to rushed orders and a decline in the overall customer experience.

The heart of Starbucks was once centered around the concept of the "third place" - a space between home and work where people could find comfort, community, and good coffee. It was a moldable space that stimulated the senses and fostered connections. However, as Starbucks became more focused on streamlining processes and increasing efficiency, it lost sight of the essence of the third place.

Efficiency and digitalization cannot replace the importance of human connection. The baristas, who are the interface between the company and the customers, play a vital role in creating a positive experience. If these individuals are not happy, committed, and passionate about their work, the entire experience will suffer. Starbucks must invest in its human resources and prioritize the well-being of its employees to regain the sense of community that once defined the brand.

Despite its missteps, Starbucks remains a company that values equality and diversity. With a majority female and minority workforce, executive compensation tied to diversity benchmarks, and mentorship programs for BIPOC managers, Starbucks has made efforts to create an equitable and inclusive environment. However, the recent push for unionization among employees suggests that there may be underlying issues that need to be addressed.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of community and the need for gathering spaces. Starbucks must remember that people will always seek out places to connect, and it is not the green siren that calls them, but the sense of community and belonging. The company must find a way to balance efficiency with human connection, embracing technology while ensuring that the customer experience remains at the forefront.

In conclusion, writing can be a powerful tool for introverts to network and expand their connections. It allows them to be famous to the right people and attract individuals with shared interests. However, it is essential for companies like Starbucks to remember that efficiency and digitalization should not come at the cost of human relationships and the sense of community. Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace the power of writing: Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, writing can be a valuable tool for networking and building relationships. Share your interests and ideas to attract like-minded individuals and expand your network.
  • 2. Prioritize human connection: In the pursuit of efficiency and convenience, do not lose sight of the importance of human relationships. Invest in your employees, create a positive work environment, and ensure that the customer experience is centered around genuine connections.
  • 3. Balance technology and the human touch: Technology can streamline processes and enhance convenience, but it should not replace the human touch. Find ways to incorporate technology while maintaining the essence of your brand and fostering a sense of community.

By combining the power of writing with a focus on human connection, companies can find success in today's digital age without losing the values that define them.

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