How Starbucks Survived Recession by Howard Schultz

2 min readMay 17


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As a business owner and avid coffee drinker, I recently stumbled upon an interview with Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, and was intrigued by the valuable business lessons he shared. Despite Starbucks’ success, the company faced a significant threat during the recession that led to a loss of its unique experience and opened the door to competitors. Schultz realized the need to eradicate this threat and made the difficult decision to step down but later returned as CEO to initiate a transformational agenda to restore Starbucks to its former glory.

One of the key takeaways from this interview was the importance of going back to the core of your business and having direct, honest conversations with yourself and your team. This led to a mission-driven approach that focused on enhancing the lives of customers and communities. Schultz emphasized that Starbucks isn’t just in the coffee business, but in the people business serving coffee. This philosophy helped create a consistent experience across locations and cultures. Additionally, the company’s strong sense of purpose and commitment to community service helped build a brand with a conscience.

As I reflect on this lesson, I realize the power of a clear mission and purpose-driven approach. It’s vital to treat every customer as an individual, building relationships through experiences that create value and enhance their lives. Like Schultz, I too believe our responsibility to our communities and people is greater in the future than it is today.

I learned the importance of paying attention to the core principles that set apart a company’s experience and focusing on creating emotional connections with customers rather than solely on profit. By following these lessons, we as business owners can continue to have a positive impact and achieve success in both our personal and professional lives.

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