Out Of My Mind On A Monday Mornin’

What is your greatest addiction in life?

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Tell me today is not the last day of July.

When did it become OK for drivers not to use turn signals especially at intersections? As more and more drivers text while driving, don’t use turn signals and apparently more on drugs than ever before, self-driving cars can’t come fast enough.

Speaking of which, finally the first Tesla 3 models rolled off the assembly line. For $35,000, this is a true game-changer. Look for gas combustion engines to be gone by 2025 or sooner. Tesla has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to uproot an industry, let’s see if Elon Musk can make it happen.

Facebook now reaches more than 2 billion people. There are only 7 billion people in the whole world. Take away kids under 5 (HA!) and adults overs 75 and you probably have 5-5.5 billion eligible users. WOW, who would have believed.

Who would believe Jeff Bezo’s was worth more than $90 BILLION last week?

Most people don’t drink tea. I never did understand Starbuck’s acquisition of Teavana. Tea is tea if you know what I mean. That blunder along with their recent 7% price increase makes one wonder what is going on at Starbuck’s.

YIKES, can you guess the #5 highest dollar category for private-label products at drug stores? Cough and cold products are #1. This category did over $500 billion last year and is quickly growing. Got the answer? Adult incontinence.

Cosmoprof Las Vegas was bigger than ever as they took advantage of the new space at Mandalay Bay. Number of buyers was about the same and all I can say is that our products were loved by all. From EMMA to our new Shower Blasts and diffusers, buyers loved it all. My biggest question is why is the show going to be the last week of July in 2018? It has never been this late and terrible for launching new products especially those geared toward holiday.

Do the top 10 fiction author’s account for 80% of the book business? Daniel Silva is #1 this week with yet another story featuring Gabriel. Grisham is #2 and you can always count on Patterson in the top 10. I will say one of life’s greatest luxuries is summer reading. I am finally reading Narnia, the fantasy book by C.W. Lewis back in the 1950’s. I swear, this book spawned all the Harry Potter’s, Twilights, Hunger Games and everything in-between.

The FDA wants to reduce nicotine levels in cigarettes so they become non-additive and move smokers to e-cigs. If the FDA could have controlled nicotine levels all this time why is it just proposing this now?

Speaking of addictions, MGM Grand Detroit just reported record earnings. And how is it the lotto’s get to $100M, $200M and even $300M so fast? I think I’m addicted to pretzels, is that possible?

OMG, I just looked at the calendar and it really is the last day of July. There is not a cloud in the sky, 84 and sunny, and all the reason why we continue to live in Michigan.

Happy Monday!

Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks, Sends Urgent Letter

Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks, Sends Urgent Letter

Do you think the economy will double-dip into a recession?

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As my readers know, I am a Starbucks raving fan. Howard Schultz, CEO, left his company to pursue other interests in early part of the last decade only to return January 2008 to revitalize the chain. And that he has. The stock has tripled since then and items like hot breakfast sandwiches and specialty frozen drinks have driven growth.

So it came as quite a surprise to receive a letter from Schultz this past Friday that was emailed to most likely his Gold customers. What follows is his letter which is of pure political nature. If you don’t want to read about political issues, then don’t read this letter. I am enclosing it because Schultz obviously has a reason for writing the letter and sharing with the world. Ironically, it was sent two hours after one of the worst employment reports to come out of the U.S .Government since 1945. The stock market is not happy, people looking for work are not happy and truthfully, when it comes down to the economy, what is there to be happy about?

Obama just registered his lowest approval rating yet, only 43%. He scores far worse when it comes to the economy. Perhaps he will have something to say on Thursday at 7PM, we will all be listening (or will we?).

As a CEO, our responsibilities are many but mainly are focused on our talent (employees), customers and community. I can tell you that the biggest concern going right now is if the country and rest of the world will go back into a recession (double-dip). The fact that so many people think so means we have hope it won’t. But until then, look for more business executives like Schultz to get involved in politics, something typical taboo for highly recognized CEO’s. Here you go:

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September 2011
Dear Starbucks Friend and Fellow Citizen:
I love our country. And I am a beneficiary of the promise of America. But today, I am very concerned that at times I do not recognize the America that I love.
Like so many of you, I am deeply disappointed by the pervasive failure of leadership in Washington. And also like you, I am frustrated by our political leaders’ steadfast refusal to recognize that, for every day they perpetuate partisan conflict and put ideology over country, America and Americans suffer from the combined effects of paralysis and uncertainty. Americans can’t find jobs. Small businesses can’t get credit. And the fracturing of consumer confidence continues.
We are better than this.
Three weeks ago, I asked fellow business leaders to join me in urging the President and the Congress to put an end to partisan gridlock and, in its place, to set in motion an upward spiral of confidence. More than 100 business leaders representing American companies – large and small – joined me in signing a two-part pledge:
First, to withhold political campaign contributions until a transparent, comprehensive, bipartisan debt-and-deficit package is reached that honestly, and fairly, sets America on a path to long-term financial health and security. Second, to do all we can to break the cycle of economic uncertainty that grips our country by committing to accelerate investment in jobs and hiring.
In the weeks since then, I have been overwhelmed by the heartfelt stories of Americans from across the country, sharing their anguish over losing hope in the strongest and most galvanizing force of all – the American Dream. Some feel they have no voice. Others feel they no longer matter. And many feel they have been left behind.
We cannot let this stand.
Please join other concerned Americans and me on a national call-in conversation on Tuesday September 6th hosted by “No Labels,” a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fostering cooperative and more effective government. To learn more about the forum and the pledges, visit www.upwardspiral2011.org
America is at a fragile and critical moment in its history. We must restore hope in the American Dream. We must celebrate all that America stands for around the world. And while our Founding Fathers recognized the constructive value of political debate, we must send the message to today’s elected officials in a civil, respectful voice they hear and understand, that the time to put citizenship ahead of partisanship is now.
Yours is the voice that can help ignite the contagious upward spiral of confidence that our country desperately needs.
With great respect,

chief executive officer, Starbucks Coffee Company

Happy Tuesday!