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  • Michael Krakovskiy 1:55 am on January 22, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chairman, , , , , , Great Leader, Howard Behar, Kim Il-sung, Little Red Book, Mao's "Little Red, Moscow university, , ,   

    What It’s All About? 

    I recently picked up “It’s Not About the Coffee: Leadership Principles from a Life at Starbucks”.

    As you might know, I am a bit of coffee coin-a-sewer, owning a $2000 espresso machine and such. You might also remember the only popular blog post I’ve ever written – the one about the Starbucks logo. I was always very interested in everything Starbucks. The reason? Well, I really could not understand how a company with coffee that is so bad could be so popular.  I mean, have you tasted the stuff?

    “It’s Not About the Coffee” – wow, I thought, this should clear some things up. Because, I for sure know that it’s not about the coffee. I’ve had good coffee. It just can’t be about the coffee. 

    The first sentence of the book (int the A Note to Readers) reads: “Although this book is titled It’s Not About the Coffee,  of course it is about the coffee–it’s about the people and the coffee.” Leadership lesson number one: start out with a lie, then weasel out. 

    Cloying, sacchariney  corporate doublespeak only got worse on the following several pages, I am not even sure I can get through the book at all.  There might be some interesting Starbucks anecdotes further down, so I’ll keep trying. Meanwhile I get a weird feeling about Howard Behar – the same I used to get about Soviet Politburo members: I could not understand if they believed themselves in the ideals that they extolled. 

    Ok, I read a couple of more pages, and was instantly rewarded by learning this interesting, although disturbing fact: besides the coffee passport, which I knew about, there’s a piece of corporate propaganda known as the “Green Apron Book.”  Almost like Chairman Mao’s “Little Red Book”. Neat.

    All of this reminded me a story that I’ve read somewhere about a North Korean student at a Moscow university that used to carry around with him a little portrait of the Great Leader, Kim Il-sung. He would meditate, looking at the picture for hours, and even used it instead of a mirror while shaving. When asked – how could he shave without a mirror, he said – this is better than a mirror.

    I guess, if you can make people shave in front of a portrait, you can make them believe that Starbucks coffee is tasty. There are ways…

  • Michael Krakovskiy 2:35 am on July 8, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bill, , Chairman, , Ketchup, , , Steve, , ,   

    It Takes All Kinds 

    Have you ever seen a Chairman of a 57.19 billion dollar company with a weblog? What’s interesting about his blog is not the run of the mill left-leaning political content, but the comments. Suckups, crackpots, business idea pitchers who are both suckups and crackpots. Makes for good reading.

    By the way, this begs for an interesting question. Who is s the richets blogger in the world? Larry, Bill and Steve do not blog, Warren rants in his yearly reports, but technically that is not blogging. Pierre could probably win this contest.

    Also of note: tree hugging, union friendly makers of Shit Be Gone Toilet Paper and Democrat bashing makers of W Ketchup equally benefit from capitalistic ideals of novelty product industry. As cool as these products sound, I try to make my purchasing decisions without involving politics. I don’t need the toilet paper because I have a fancy ass-washing Japanese robot toilet and I can’t have ketchup (which is mostly made out of corn syrup) because of my low carb diet. But I finally surrendered, and I am about to shell out a lot of money for the most expensive espresso machine ever. Which is …. is … is made in France.

  • Michael Krakovskiy 12:41 pm on May 19, 2004 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Chairman, , Sanders, Walter J. Sanders III   

    Tum Param Param, Tam Param 

    I collect books on corporate history. I have a few books from “The Legend Of” series by Jeffrey L. Rodengen. They are somewhat biased (I suspect that if you are making a career of writing corporate history books it’s a bad idea to piss off corporations by siting embarrassing facts), but beautifully illustrated books. I especially love these two pieces of corporate propaganda from “The Legend of Advanced Micro Devices” which I found scanned while cleaning up my folders.

    They feature Walter J. Sanders III, the former chairman of AMD. Enjoy:

    I especially like the bearded dude with glasses.

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