Friday, October 23, 2015

Startupbucks (aka Starbucks) the OaaS Innovation Incubator

As I was momentarily pausing from working on a presentation, I leaned back and noticed that there was quite a bit of “business” occurring in my local Starbucks.  There were a lot of enthusiastic conversations with a collection of open laptops, notebooks, tablets, and more being used to share, illustrate, and note ideas.  This wasn't the first time I’d seen this same level of engagement in a Starbucks. 

Then something occurred to me.  I was witnessing an incubator of business, non-profit, and personal ideas being generated and matured.  Of course some people are there for just a coffee and a chair to relax.  Others are there for a quick pick-me-up for the day or remainder of the day.  Alternatively, it was clear that Starbucks was this place where business was happening, where new ideas were being generated, where collaboration was happening, and where progress was being made.  It was an incubator of innovation! 
That’s where it occurred to me, Starbucks was part coffee shop and part office-as-a-service (OaaS) incubator.  I therefore have redubbed Starbucks to Startupbucks!  The first part of the name (Startup) is a place where new ideas come to life and blossom surrounded by the aroma of coffee beans.  The second part of the name (bucks) is coincidentally where hopes for financial reward is part of the innovation dream.   I wonder how much business has been conducted in Startupbucks and much money this translates into?   Next time you are in Starbucks, take a look around.  Are you seeing the same thing that I am?  Finally, thank you Starbucks and the many coffee shops like you for providing us this OaaS that makes a great incubator of ideas and haven for progress!    


  1. Thanks for pointing this neatly. You are absolutely true. Even I have heard of stories where the founders met in a Starbucks and discussed about their startup idea. This is really cool. As one of the coffee outlets tagline, a lot can happen over a cup of coffee. I will rephrase it as a lot many startups can happen over a cup of coffee.

  2. Perhaps this is a missed marketing opportunity for Starbucks. Additionally, I notice that every Starbucks on my university's campus (I teach part-time) is also a group study/work space. Students gather and work on group projects or prepare for tests.

  3. One of the lean principles of managing the wait times by controlling the queue length is very well demonstrated at Starbucks.

    Also the CEO of Starbucks in a 45 min interview did not even mention about coffee. When asked he said, the coffee is just one of the output. His focus is to create an environment where his employees love to work and serve customers. Happy Employees--> Happy customers--> Happy business.

    The Leadership says it all ..

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