Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
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The "BusinessWeek" bestseller, now in paperback. "Pour Your Heart Into It" tells the story of how small-company values, passion, and integrity turned six local coffee stories into the Starbucks chain.--"Fortune".
- Amazon Sales Rank: #7224 in Books
- Published on: 1999-01-06
- Released on: 1999-01-06
- Original language: English
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .1 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 368 pages
- ISBN13: 9780786883561
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
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From Kirkus Reviews
A chatty history of Starbucks by its CEO, who announces that he considers the company to be only in its third chapter (which is nowhere near the eleventh). Schultz first heard of Starbucks in 1981 when he sold to the fledgling business a number of expensive coffeemakers, and he fell in love with the company immediately. He calls the meeting bashert (Yiddish for destiny), and while the Seattle-based group may have had another word for it, Brooklyn-bred Schultz does seem particularly suited to Starbucks. He repeatedly swoons over the coffee and details at length the process that turns a small green bean into a dark brown drink in a green cup. His enthusiasm for his product is palpable when he writes of ``the romance of the coffee experience'' at Starbucks, though his tips about how to run a company are less valuable. Schultz does offer some useful war stories--especially his dinner with the Seattle partners, who found him ``too New York''--and his idea of putting even part-time workers on the company's health-care plan is both admirable and cost-effective, saving money on employee turnover. Schultz, who bought the company for under $4 million, should have more specific points to convey about how he made Starbucks worth over $270 million in a half a decade. And much of the Starbucks story is overly familiar, while elsewhere, the narrative would be better served if the events were discussed chronologically: It's jarring to jump from the 1996 success of Frappuccinos and ice cream to the devastating Brazilian frost of 1994. Though this is unsatisfying as a skim-milk latte in places, Schultz is less a braggart and more a true believer than many CEOs, and (with Business Week staffer Yang) he provides a pleasing read. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Most helpful customer reviews
62 of 63 people found the following review helpful.
You will never look at Starbucks the same way again
By Michael Erisman
This is one of the best business biographies I have ever read. It is truly inspiring. One simple, and telling, output from reading this book on a plane was that as soon as we landed I headed to the local airport Starbucks for a latte. I rarely even drink coffee! So powerful are the imagery and the passion for coffee in his story that you can almost smell the roasted dark beans, feel them running through your fingers, hear the sounds of the espresso machine and taste the coffee itself!
Why is this imagery so important? Because behind the corporate image of a relentless pac-man like machine churning out new locations at a rate slightly above the national birth rate it seems, is a simple vision of passion for coffee combined with Italian neighborhoods and a warm and friendly place where the worlds best coffee and social friendship intermix. That is what Starbucks was all about.
The book itself is a remarkable insight into this journey. It was even more special for me, as I grew up with Starbucks - literally. When Howard talks about the vision he had to treat even his part time employees with full benefits and ownership in the company through stock, I know it was more than just a nice sounding corporate manta, it really worked. Friends I went to high school with in Bellevue in the mid to late 1980's worked at the first stores, and raved about this little coffee company and couldn't imagine working anywhere else. So, from firsthand experience I can tell you that what he says about the passion and vision coming to life in Seattle is all true
While company history is quite interesting, and the book itself just hums and glides without ever getting mundane, the real gems are in the emotional reality Howard displays. He talks about being overwhelmed to tears, about the rejection he faced while trying to get funding for his fledgling company, about the naysayers and others who nearly took it all away, and the struggle with having a hand in everything and slowly letting go. You know that you are reading about a real person, someone who came from a poor neighborhood in Brooklyn with working-class roots, not an image generated by a large corporations PR spin doctors
The value of people, so often lost in corporate bureaucracy, is evident here. Starbucks grew because it struck an emotional chord with people. He knew that in order for the company to be successful he needed people who shared the values. This is often spoken of, and rarely practiced in the corporate world where systems, forecasts, processes and other such tools become the focal point, and the simple fact that all results come through people is lost. He speaks throughout the book of people who helped him, coached him, mentored him, challenged him, and made the company what it was. One quote in particular summarizes his views: "If people relate to the company they work for, if they form an emotional tie to it and buy into its dreams, they will pour their heart into making it better." (Page 6) This theme comes through in every decision.
Overall, this is a wonderful book, and is truly inspiring. I would work for him tomorrow, if it really still is the way it's portrayed here. I encourage you to read this book and see your neighborhood Starbucks in a new light.
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful.
drips of truth and passion...
By JITENDRA MUCHHAL
Starbucks- the very name conjures up images of a brand not of coffee, but of passion , love, sincerity and superb customer service; that the coffee too is great (though expensive)is an added plus.. But here is a brand in the most common of products and having arrived to the top of the minds in less than a decade- how did it all happen? Pour Your Heart Into It is a fascinating saga of the Starbucks journey, written by the man -Howard Shultz- who made it happen! This is one of the best business biographies I have ever read for its storytelling of a person"s passion to his idea and then betting his life and much much more onto it.. While going through the book, I came across some very inspiring and meaningful quotes, either mentioned in the beginning of the chapter or as part of the narrative, here are some of them which have stayed with me even today months after I finished reading the book Highly recommended book for anybody who wants to live- and maybe die- by his or her BIG IDEA! Amazes me how in prime Mid Town Manhattan ;how a mere coffee store can have probably 8 shops in a 6 blocks radius - around 42nd and Madison but Starbucks is not coffee any more; I do not say now" Lets have coffee", we just say"Lets have a Starbucks"!
POUR YOUR HEART HEART INTO IT:
1. A HUNDRED TIMES EVERY DAY I REMIND MYSELF THAT MY INNER AND OUTER LIVES DEPENDED ON LABORS OF OTHER MEN,LIVING OR DEAD AND THAT I MUST EXERT MYSELF IN ORDER TO GIVE IN THE SAME MEASURE THAT I RECIEVED.....
2.IF IT CAPTURES YOUR IMAGINATION..IT WILL PROBABLY CAPTIVATE OTHERS TOO.
3.SOME MEN SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE AND SAY..WHY. I DREAM THINGS THAT NEVER WERE AND ASK..WHY NOT!
4.IF YOU SAY NEVER HAD A CHANCE,,PERHAPS YOU NEVER TOOK A CHANCE.
5.VISION IS WHAT THEY CALL IT WHEN YOU CAN SEE WHAT OTHERS CAN NOT SEE
6.WHENEVER YOU SEE A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS...SOMEBODY SOMEDAY MUST HAVE MADE A COURAGEOUS DECISION...
7.WE JUDGE OURSELVES BY WHAT WE FEEL CAPABLE OF DOING.. WHILE OTHERS JUDGE US BY WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY DONE...
8.SOMETIMES..SINCERITY SELLS BETTER THAN BUSINESS PLANS
9.THE ULTIMATE MEASURE OF A MAN IS NOT WHERE HE STANDS IN MOMENTS OF COMFORT AND CONVINIENCE ,BUT WHERE HE STAND AT TIMES OF CHALLENGE AND ADVERSITY...
11.WHEN YOU SEE THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME..MOVE QUICKLY
12.A 100 STOREY BUILDING NEEDS A FIRM FOUNDATION
13.DO NOT BE THREATENED Y MEN SMARTER THAN YOU
14.THE BEST EXECUTIVE IS ONE WHO HAS GOOD SENSE TO PICK UP GOOD MEN TO DO WHAT HE WANTS DONE AND SELF RESTRAINT TO KEEP FROM MEDDLING WITH THEM WHILE THEY DO TI.
15.THE ONLY SACRED COW IN AN ORGANISATION SHOULD BE IT"S BASIC PHILOSPHY OF DOING BUSINESS..
16.TO STAY AHEAD,ALWAYS HAVE THE NEXT IDEA WAITING IN THE WINGS..
17.THE BEST WAY TO BUILD A BRAND IS ONE PERSON AT A TIME.
18.THE FUNDAMENTAL TASK IS TO ACHIEVE SMALLNESS WITHIN A LARGE ORGANISATION..
19.VALUES SHOULD NOT WHITHER AS SALES GROW.
43 of 52 people found the following review helpful.
Howard Lives A Charmed Life
By A Customer
When you are at the top, like Howard Schultz, it is easy to think that everything is peachy-keen. Just surround yourself with shrewd businesspeople who tell you what you want to hear.
Most of the writing starts off inspiring, but goes too far (or too long) and ends up being redundant or saccharine...usually both. I felt like he was trying to sell me something over and over!
So, here's the truth: I WORK FOR STARBUCKS. I have seen how middle managers (Operations Managers, District Managers, and Store Managers) are capricious and fickle--creating work environments that become so demanding and unreasonable that employees and managers quit..with tears in their eyes.
Yes, the employees and most store managers believe Howard's candor and vision of a great workplace with respect and dignity for everyone (read the Mission Statement)--but his middle managers are ruthless, profit-focused slavedrivers.
Hardly any retail employees ("partners"? in WHAT?!?!) stay with this company long enough to actually reap the benefits of Beanstock (5 years). The psychological warfare become more acute the longer one stays.
There are a few lines in Howard's book that really struck a cord; he laments over long-standing employees who "just don't have the skills to stay" on/be promoted with this fast-growing company. Perhaps he should look hard at his middle managers' reign of terror, usually coming down hardest on those store managers and employees who dare to ask the hard questions, and who have been with the company for over two years. It appears that the idea is closer to "hire 'em young and idealistic, then burn 'em out" than "be successful because of your people, not at their expense".
So go ahead and buy stock in this company, but don't buy because of the "values" --buy because the stock performs on Wall Street. That is the unfortunate truth, and I feel really sorry for Howard. His vision has been twisted and subverted, with more and more employees feeling lied to or cheated, and he still believes everything is grand. Poor guy. Maybe he should listen to his employees like he used to.
I wish I could feel confident in dispaying my e-mail address, but I would be living in the same fantasy world as Howard if I thought I would still have a job after expressing such views.
May I suggest a different title? Cry Your Heart Out: How Starbucks Middle Managers Traumatize their Subordinates, and Still Bonus at the end of the Quarter...