This post is dedicated to my dearest, bestest friend in the whole wide world. She knows who she is and will take this in the spirit in which it was intended.
Starbucks CEO: I'm sorry Mr Shareholder, but we won't be able to open the 40,000 new Starbucks around the world that we'd planned to open.
Mr. Shareholder: (worried) Why not? Is there a down turn in the market? Have people switched to drinking tea? Do you know how many people are depending on this?
Starbucks CEO: I know, but it turns out we are too successful. People think we should scale back, not be as successful. They have decided we are a monstrous octopus putting little neighborhood coffee places out of business.
Mr. Sharholder: (Confused) But isn't that how capitalism works? if you are successful you grow and if you aren't you go out of business? Didn't we start as a small neighborhood coffee shop in Seattle in 1971? Has the government decided to change? Put controls on how large a corporation should grow?
Starbucks CEO: No the government hasn't changed. And yeah, we did start out like all the other little corner coffee shops, and we grew because we were smart and savvy, but now that we're a giant corporation we're getting smacked for our success.
Mr. Shareholder: But haven't we done some great things with our success? Aren't we on Fortune Magazine's Best Companies to work for? Didn't we make the list of Best Corporate Citizens?
Starbucks CEO: Well, yes. And besides the hundreds of thousands of people we give jobs to, we have started numurous foundations for commmunity giving, including the Make Your Mark program where we match employees volunteer hours with money, Money for Parks and City Arts programs, the Ethos clean water program for third world countries, and countless other community programs. That doesn't include the support we are now giving to the coffee growing communities.
Mr. Shareholder: Then what's the problem? We're not only successful, but we give millions of dollars away to nonprofits and community programs. Can the little neighborhood coffee houses do that?
Starbucks CEO: No... I think they can only employ just a handful of employees. They do have floats in local parades though. We can't do that. We're too busy giving people a nice meeting place so they can get together to work, hold bible studies, have family talks, dicuss books and education and a gazillion other things and basically to hang out. Before we were around, going out to coffee meant Shari's or Denny's. And you know how good the coffee was there!
Mr. Sharholder: (Shuddering)Yeah. Plus, at those little coffee shops you never know if you are going to get a fantastic cup of coffee or the worst crap you've ever tasted. At least we have quality control. So why shouldn't we open 40,000 more stores? We are in business to make money, right? Isn't that what businesses are supposed to do?
Starbucks CEO: You're right. Free enterprize and all that. Viva Le Coffee!