11/21(Sat)Self-made Millionaire;Starbucks Phenomenon (Host:Timothy/Kooper)

YOYO member
文章: 2631
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

11/21(Sat)Self-made Millionaire;Starbucks Phenomenon (Host:Timothy/Kooper)

文章 Kooper »

Dear all,

The Nov-21 host Timothy has spent considerable time finding us interesting articles to read and designing questions for us to discuss. He unfortunately cannot make it to the meeting himself due to a busy weekend. I therefore will stand in for Timothy to host the meeting. See you then! :ssmile:

Session 1

Self-made millionaire: Forget skipping Starbucks. Here are 5 real ways to get rich

Questions for Discussion:
Q1. Among the 5 tips on getting rich mentioned in the article, do you agree with all of them or have different opinions? Do you have any unique financial management plan or investment tips to share?

Q2. How have you been developing your career after graduating from school? If you just go with the flow and let your career drift along, why? What have you been investing in yourself for future success? If you have worked for many years, have you got any relatively valuable experiences to share with us?

Q3. The upcoming fifth generation cellular mobile communications (5G) will impact nearly every business in every sector. Numerous industries will benefit from it. (e.g. Manufacturing, Retail, Media/Entertainment, Health Care, Hospitality, Transportation, and so on.) What do you imagine a life based on 5G infrastructure will be like? What industries or companies, either local or international, are worth investment?

Session 2
The article of session 1 uses Starbucks as a point for its reasoning. That implies Starbucks might be worth discussing, so let's talk about Starbucks.

Amit Ahuja has been writing about coffee since 2012. On his blog Fried Coffee, he talks about how Starbucks has become the icon it is today.

When Starbucks first opened, he writes, “coffee connoisseurs were rare in the U.S., and espresso was seldom found outside of Italian restaurants. At diners and donut shops across the country, people drank generic, mass-produced, and often weakly brewed coffee.”

A generation of Americans has grown up with Starbucks as a better alternative (though Ahuja points out that in most taste-tests, people prefer the coffee served at McDonald’s!). Of course, Starbucks has gone far beyond espresso. It now offers endless flavors and customizable combinations — there’s a caffeinated beverage for everyone. And for those rare folks who don’t like coffee, there are smoothies, teas, and fresh-pressed juices. “These drinks are so popular,” Ahuja points out, “that other coffee chains have had to introduce similar products in order to compete.”

Another factor in the chain's ever-growing popularity is simply the way that Starbucks seems to present itself as a sort of luxury that “almost everyone can afford.” According to Ahuja, “With its Italianized names, its inviting décor, and even its unreasonably high prices, Starbucks feels like an indulgence or a reward. It’s easier to drag yourself to work on a Monday morning when you treat yourself to your favorite latte on the way. Many studies have shown that our enjoyment of foods and drinks, even our perception of how they taste, is enhanced by branding and clever packaging.”

He adds that the coffeehouse also acts as a “third place,” which is neither home nor work, but a neutral community space. “A cup of coffee may cost more at Starbucks than McDonald’s,” Ahuja writes, “but you’re also paying rent on a pleasant, inviting living room where you can stay for a while and meet with friends or work colleagues.” Shops also offer free Wi-Fi, making Starbucks an optimal location to work outside the office.

Over the years, Starbucks has responded as patrons have asked for high-protein items, gluten-free options, and breakfast sandwiches made with cage-free eggs. When such products are past their “serve by” date (but still considered fresh and safe to consume), they’re donated to Food Lifeline, a food charity.
Simon, who teaches history at Philadelphia's Temple University, thinks customers are willing to pay over the odds for the coffee -- the price hike from unroasted bean to urban cappuccino has been estimated at about 7,000 percent -- because of what the brand promises.

"Starbucks shows us our desires but doesn't completely fulfil them," Simon said.

"These include our desires for status, to be socially responsible and simply to have a place to go," he said.

Starbucks' success could be seen as reinvention of the 18th-century coffee house where people gossiped, debated politics or read newspapers.

Simon acknowledges its broad appeal, but contends that the prices make it anything but classless.

"It has a fairly big segment of the mainstream, but it has invisible filters to keep some people out. The poor are not going to pay that much for a cup of coffee and lots of older people can't get their head around paying that much. When you ask who doesn't go to Starbucks, the focus groups say, `The homeless, the poor or my granny,'"he said.

1. Why the World Is Obsessed With Starbucks
2. Tracking the Starbucks phenomenon

Questions for Discussion:
Q1. “A cup of coffee is more than a cup of coffee itself.” Coffee has seeped into lots of people’s everyday lives unnoticed. What does coffee mean to you?

Q2. Starbucks has been in great demand for decades, presenting itself as a sort of affordable luxury. There must be some inviting factors to consumers. How do you interpret its successful branding strategies?

Q3. A critic in the article said, “Starbucks didn’t introduce coffee and didn’t even introduce good coffee, but it did turn coffee into an identity.” On the other hand, there are some other coffee lovers who prefer independent coffee shops to Starbucks. Which side are you on? What’s your comment about the critic’s argument?

3:45 ~ 4:00pm Greetings & Free Talk / Ordering Beverage or Meal / Getting Newcomer’s Information
4:00 ~ 4:10pm Opening Remarks / Newcomer’s Self-introduction / Grouping
(Session I)
4:10 ~ 4:50pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
4:50 ~ 5:10pm Summarization (20 mins)
5:10 ~ 5:15pm Regrouping / Instruction Giving / Taking a 10 Minutes Break (Intermission)
(Session II)
5:15 ~ 5:55pm Discussion Session (40 mins)
6:00 ~ 6:20pm Summarization (20 mins)
6:20 ~ 6:30pm Concluding Remarks / Announcements

Meeting Date: As shown on the Subject Line
Meeting Time: 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Meeting Venue: 丹堤咖啡 Dante Coffee (Minimum Order $80)
Address: 台北市濟南路三段25號[MAP]-捷運忠孝新生站3號出口步行3分鐘

Important Notes:
1. We advise participants to print out the discussion questions and bring them to the meeting for reference. As for the supporting articles, feel free to print them out, as well, according to your preference.
2. We suggest that participants read the articles and think about the questions in advance.
3. Newcomers should prepare a two-to-three minute self-introduction in English to deliver when called upon by the host before the start of the discussion. The host may also ask you to give brief feedback about the meeting at the conclusion of the meeting.
4. We conduct the entire meeting in English. All participants should have at least moderate English-conversation skills and be able to articulate your ideas for each discussion question.
5. We welcome newcomers and other guests to attend the meetings and join the discussion freely for three times. After that, we hope you will consider becoming a YoYo English Club member. We charge a NT$1000 lifetime membership fee.
Luis Ko
YOYO member
文章: 942
註冊時間: 週三 6月 06, 2007 10:18 pm

Re: 11/21(Sat)Self-made Millionaire;Starbucks Phenomenon (Host:Timothy/Kooper)

文章 Luis Ko »

Q3. A critic in the article said, “Starbucks didn’t introduce coffee and didn’t even introduce good coffee, but it did turn coffee into an identity.” On the other hand, there are some other coffee lovers who prefer independent coffee shops to Starbucks. Which side are you on? What’s your comment about the critic’s argument?

should the criticism be “Starbucks didn’t introduce good coffee and didn’t even introduce coffee.."?

i just don't get why some people like to criticize Starbucks. is that out of prejudice, or jealousy?? taste is highly subjective. Starbucks might not serve good coffee in some people's eyes, but a lot of others do enjoy the food and space there. i like it too. their hot chocolate and 抹茶拿鐵 are second to none in my opinion. the latter can even be customised. right, Starbucks is a coffee shop. people tend to simply use coffee to gauge it, but the way shouldn't be the one and only to judge. there's more to a coffee shop than meets the eye i would say, especially when the coffee there is actually not so bad. :mrgreen:

by the way, i guess one of the reasons why Starbucks is criticized so often, also why it's so popular, is because it's like a brand-name product. it's an international brand-name. the fame makes Starbucks draw a lot of attentions, that's why it can be so popular, and easily targeted by so many others too. :lol:
i might be a cynic and, a sceptic as well but, i'm definitely not a bad person!!
YOYO member
文章: 2631
註冊時間: 週三 4月 11, 2007 11:40 pm

Re: 11/21(Sat)Self-made Millionaire;Starbucks Phenomenon (Host:Timothy/Kooper)

文章 Kooper »

Attendees(20): Ramesh, Tom, Amy, Catherine, Julia, Gloria, Carrie, Jason, Jason Yuan, Jennia, Shirley, Howard, Winston, Leon, Arthur, Julian, David Jr., Steve, Jessica, Kooper(host)