We adore coffee, and we’ll pay more than we need to for it, even after a devastating recession that left permanent scars on our memories. That says something about our odd human nature, but also about where entrepreneurial opportunities lie ahead.
When the global economy began circling the drain in 2008, Starbucks began laying off employees and shuttering stores. Experts debated whether Starbucks could hang on much longer. “[H]onestly, I’m over it,” Dan Macsai wrote in BusinessWeek. “And apparently, so are you.” At the time, Starbucks had 15,000 stores in 44 countries, and Macsai expected to see rapid decline.
Today it has 21,000 locations in 65 countries. So never mind. Today, the lines atStarbucks and rival chains are clogged with customers ordering 17 mocha lattes and half-caff cappuccinos and venti frapps for themselves and their friends back at the office. Today, people risk missing connecting flights at airports because they gotta have their fix—freshly dispensed by a busy barista.