Bonus: Venti Schultz Roast (1/28/19)
The VERA project. Hello. Hello seattle. I'm listening. So Seattle's treating this pretty pretty good. They wanna they wanna roasted too hard on scrambled eggs are amazing. Salad best in the world. Stores. You said the N word on your twin stream after Drake went on. Starbucks in my hotel. No, they did that are Starbucks everywhere. And actually, we would like to start out this evening by reading to you guys from not one but two books by Howard Schultz. Starbucks crop. Not bad who saw disgusting. Stick infested, fish, gut riddled Thailand, the Puget Sound and said here, I won't build by church. I'm I won't be glorious church made of beans. I'm just inspired by our Scholtz wasn't enough for him to bend. The blood comic strip. Or or to appear the hilarious sitcom Hogan's heroes. Sergeant Schultz remember him, folks. Can we get the sad fish? That's I. I. I weeping face of the thing for that Hogan's heroes rep. Love that show. The figure of best order Kurds, always being Ling. Buxom secretary. Klink? It's point. That'd be a way more interested show. The Bose head fuck at stake in front of the camp am I right, folks? In the manga Gertz. Cannot be stopped. You know, what people think they can get you? If you're all about something. But the truth is if you know one thing, you know, every big and you connected back to that one thing. And pretend you were talking about that. Felix realize this after he referred to the famous of volcano and ancient Rome is mount Vesuvius. Most people, but I said, well, actually, the restaurant, but sue also burned down c done. He cannot be faded folks. So this is Howard Schultz who I get someone informed me of this addition to being the Starbucks Scott. He's also the asshole that fucked up the SuperSonics, right? Oklahoma city's fan of this. And if you go to the Wikipedia page for two thousand twenty potential democratic presidential candidate, no is no, it's a very broad list. It's got a lot of crazy names on their Mark Cuban and stuff. It's the broadest possible list, but on the list is Howard Schultz. Okay, wasn't considered. Remember he was on the shortlist for Hillary's cabinet. He would have been at least secretary of I think labor, and maybe even like commerce or fucking treasury. Well, this is interesting because in these books he offers a fairly telling vision of the ideology of contemporary capitalism. Into this. His first book is called onward, which I think was the same slogan as the Italian fascist party. This is from part one, which is titled love chapter one eight beverage of truth. Yes. In coffee, very tough. So on Tuesday afternoon in February two thousand eight Starbucks close all of its US stores. Whoa. A note posted on seventy one thousand locked doors explained the reason we're taking time to perfect our Espresso grade spread. So requires patients. That's why our dick we're dedicating ourselves to honing our craft now, I remember this. Everyone was pointing out how shitty their coffee was you go so Starbucks. They've won. They've won. So this whole chapter is about the decision decision point. He made to shutter all the Starbucks to retrain their staff. So I'd like to read a little of this. Now, he says pouring Bresso is an art one that requires the burrito that care about the quality of the beverage if the barista only goes through the motions if he or she does not care and produces inferiors press. Oh that is too weak or too bitter than Starbucks has lost the essence of what we set out to do forty years ago. Inspire the human spirit. For for context, you know, Starbucks where you go. If you did a lot of cocaine the night before and you're not letting go of your idea with your business partner for pizzeria that's spire by nightclub atmospheres. Starbucks is always been about so much more than coffee, but without great coffee. We have no reason to exist. Well, hold on a minute seems to me that if you if the coffee is that necessary, then it's the thing. It's about I just one last thing is about the thing that you literally can't have it without it's a coffee place. I'm pretty sure. Yeah. One last thing here for chapter when he says there is a word that comes to my mind when I think about our company, and our people that word is love, I love Starbucks because everything we've tried to do is steeped in humanity that makes it sound like soiling green we feed every what about Alicia speeds in rich delicious humanity. Love it's coffee. It's about coffee. It's not a pretty sure. Hundred percent of the people who go to Starbucks go there for some sort of Coffey or coffee terrific. Now. What is your book? The other book is another one of his his fucking literary self blowjobs. It's called. Pour your heart into it how Starbucks built a company what Cup at a time. Wretched garbage, of course, at really really insidious in the way that it promotes ideology of capitalism. And as as like a thing that sort of justifies itself, oh, we'll get to that. So this is the one thing he says early in the chapter one thing I've noticed about romantics they try to create a new and better world far from the drabness of everyday life. That is Starbucks too. We try to create in our stores a little neighborhood spot where you can take a break listened this jazz and ponder universal or personal or even whimsical questions over a Cup of. What kind of person dreams up such place? My next one perfect perfect companions of that one. He writes here valuing personal connections at a time. When so many people sit alone in front of screens aspiring to build human relationships in an age when so many issues polarized so many and acting ethically. Even if it costs more when corners routinely cut. These are honorable pursuits are at the core of what we set out to be. And what about this is e keeps going back to this idea that it's more than a coffee shop place. Anyone who's ever? Yeah. It's a coffee klatch. It's the modern day Agra where ideas lots of fees or exchange every time I've ever been to a Starbucks. And by the way, they good job of making pretty much. Okay. Coffee available everywhere in this country, which is no small feat. But that's not enough for him. It has to be more about love and inspiring human connection. And meaning that screen thing is the mantra of every ship. Shitty coffee shop that has a sign up that says, no wife, I talk to your neighbor. Yeah. Every starbucks. I've ever been to it's just people robotically shuffling in and out on their way to or from the office just to get the they're being juice that they need to make it through the day spent largely staring at screens what other in Starbucks are out of one. The only like passion that exists in the Starbucks is like every few months when Trump person is like just tell them your name is all lives matter. Just do. They can't fuck it. Stop you. It's not legal the first day. And then they have to say it, then they're raised awareness of Trump. This is the guy after all one point encouraged his fucking employee's to engage the customers on questions of race to try to a former employee if Starbucks that the best part of it floor, employee's was also not love, nor was it coffee. It was all the weapons you got for the whipped cream. One more here. He says. Infusing work with purpose. And meaning, however is a two way street. Yes, love what you do. But your company should love you back as a merchant. My desire has always been to inspire customers exceed their high expectations and establishing maintain their trust in us as an employer might duty has always been to do the same for people on the other side of the counters for our partners. This lot of responsibility has driven me for many many years. So again, it's this idea that it's not enough to just be the most successful coffee chain ever in human history. It's that it's about inspiring connections. Well, the thing is is that for him for a guy like hollered Scholtz devoted their life to this acquisition of wealth at this frenzied pace. It can't be it has to be about more. It has to be about connections and passion and love and family because it isn't then it's just about the cold, bloody in human logic of capital. Eliza of buying for ex selling for why keeping as much of the surplus as you can't like that's the brutal reality of what he is devoted his life to this fucking machinery of exploitation who could fucking handle thinking that every day that that's what they were doing. So he's basically expelling an ideological buffer whereby he's not doing the thing. He's doing he's doing this other thing. If what he's doing that saying this is conscious. I'm saying what he's doing in. It's it's the subconscious way that all of us by interacting in capitalism, and then responding to honestly just put skin in seen you on this gleaming, Terminator skeleton of capitalism with these ideas about about work being meaningful, and some spiritual sense instead of just a cold extractive enterprise giving him too much credit. I mean, really I think the idea that he needs to morally rationalize it has less to do with the fact that he's like this Bucci genteel person and coffee king of America sounds tack year than what he wants to be as like some kind of captain of industry. No, I don't think that. It's. I don't think that that he wants to justify it morally. I just think that he wants to feel like it. He is life has meaning and that there can be no meaning in because they're requires no human input. He's trying to convince themselves that he's actually human being and not just function it an algorithm. Here's another thing. He's trying to do what would have been Daesh is- for any of us to compare Starbucks cultural impact that of the Beatles. Right start. Great start already go on. And I have to say Howard shows comparing Starbucks to the Beatles. John Lennon comparing the Beatles to Jesus Christ home the fuck down. One thing was clear from comments like cliffs, both our economy that play memorable roles in people's lives. Others piped up with survey ships about the Beatles. Career the band took risks someone said they took us journey at a time when the world needed cultural leaders so badly they didn't compromise. They led with their hearts, the Beatles. Believe that if you believe you can change anything they kept reinventing themselves, but at the same time, they stayed true to their music. I offered recalling their nineteen sixty seven album sergeant Pepper's lonely hearts club band. There was music that I'll remember that. Using the Beatles. As a metaphor for an iconic brand was I thought brilliant. Swept us into the creative process providing fresh context for us to examine speak about ourselves and the company most of us were enthused. Although I noticed a few who were lost rolling their eyes the exercise and light cliff. We got up out of our seats in walked across the posters to pick up our favorites. So yeah, he thinks he's done Draper. Starbucks is a carousel. It's like the Beatles in that. There were both very successful institutions in our culture and also half, the original Starbucks board is dead. You know, really crazed fan kills the CFO. Starbucks. Don't get it. I just hit those quarterly reports meant so much to me Korth quarter three fiscal year two thousand eleven that was like my imagine. He got obsessed with chapter twenty seven of the Papa John memoir. Do you think that the Dunkin donuts people are like well, all right fine. We're the stooges. Very Iggy pop energy. There's one passage in that book that I didn't flag, but the gist of it is Schultz is looking outside the box ID's, everyone company as opposed to IT guy who explains world of warcraft Howard show at says, this is the biggest online multiplayer give all time and their demographic is males like nineteen to thirty five who are addicted to caffeine is obviously the subtext here. The well at the time, I guess Starbucks that was the one market. They couldn't crack they couldn't love nineteen thirty five year olds so Schultz at some other C suites fly to Irvine California to the blizzard headquarters to think about a partnership, the idea was as some kind of Starbucks world of warcraft rewards card. And they go to the blizzard headquarters and Scholtz sees this fourteen foot statue. Of an orc warrior writing a horse just shakes his head at it. And this partnership never materialized. And could you imagine? How different history would have been. I believe before that he says while I was concerned warcraft may not be part of our brand. Not consistent with our values. Not consistent with our co company value. Yeah, we'll see about it. What they for their own private army. I like the idea that Howard Schultz was just scared by the orc. I asked my personal blackwater security check under my bed, sometimes love being still being afraid of monsters when you're sixty. Okay. So here's another section from this other book. Pour your heart into it where he talks about how copy I just got that. Basically, he talks about he was inspired to basically invent the idea of Espresso bars in the United States because when he took over at Starbucks, they didn't sell coffee retail. They sold it only bags, and he made that he said, let's turn it the coffee bars and he brought Espresso from Italy to the United States. And he talks about how he was inspired to do it here. There's no better place to truly savor the romance of life than Italy. So he talks about how the talian do things differently. There street harassment on scooters. They have unparalleled appreciation for the five pleasures of daily life. They've figured out how to live in perfect balance. They understand what it means to work and equally what it means to relax. Enjoy live. They embrace everything passion, nothing, mediocre the infrastructure. Italy is appalling nothing works. But the food of Italy is absolutely incredible. The architectures breathtaking the fashion still defines elegance wrong all wrong, they drink cheapest spreads on the Jian Carlo hill. Overlooking row they do that. So he talks about how he was in Milan Millau, and he he came to a spy a number of very charming Espresso shops. And he says half a block across the sidestreet. I saw another Espresso mar this one was even more crowded. I noticed that the gray haired man behind the counter greeted every customer by name, he appeared to be both owner and operator he and his customer for laughing and talking and enjoying the moment. I could tell that the customers were regulars the routines, comfortable and familiar in the next few blacks. To Morris Bresso bars. I was fascinated. It was on that day that I discovered the ritual of the romance of coffee bars in Italy. I saw how popular they were. And how vibrant each one had its own unique character, but they had one common threat, the camaraderie between the customers do each other. Well, and the barista who was performing with flair. What if he actually went by like a bunch of cruising spots and Milan? This must be what they're like about coffee customer service at this place. The operator and the customers they all get into this big foamy bath together. It's amazing says that time there were two hundred thousand coffee bars in Italy and fifteen hundred alone in the city of Milan. A city of size Philadelphia. It seemed they were on every street corner. And all we're packed my night mind started churning, and I watched wonder how many of those fucking coffee bars were destroyed or displaced by fucking Starbucks. It's like, this amazing, vibrant, unique culture that I might monopolized destroyed. I've never been to Italy. But let me ask you this these coffee bars also alcohol, and that always often not play that many of them do though some of them. So the spars. Yeah. But I think that's the thing that defining the coffee is the wires is mostly if not tireless coffee a coffee place serve boos at night becomes a par. Maybe. Okay. Well, you sort of answering the questions. Sidetrack on Ben to a place that had coffee in there. They have alcohol at night, they exist. What was it called? We'll be resolving this in the nine o'clock. This been Rick steves on Europe, we're gonna resolve this with Chris Hardwick after Chapo gotten that flicks.