Tuesday March 31, 2020 |Notes

The digital economy doesn't need a Starbuck's on every corner

Starbucks is an iconic brand because they revolutionized coffee shops. They changed the Overton window of an acceptable price for coffee by making every drink more than a coffee. Each drink has flavor options with Italian-language sizes for drinks served in cleanly-branded cups.

This wasn't typical of most coffee shops - and Starbucks perfected the process. Ordering is extremely efficient and each copy of the shop offers the same menu and experience. On a trip to Guangzhou, China in 2015, I recall visiting a Starbucks in an area with few English-speakers and finding the menu and interior nearly identical as at home in California - albeit with prices ~25% higher in China.

The ability to consistently deliver the same great experience is what allowed Starbucks to expand to thousands of corners. The digital economy doesn't need 1000 copies of the same experience because the nature of digital economy makes it accessible a huge audience, independent of location.

The digital economy makes it easier than ever for uncommon business to deliver a consistent product and reach the right potential audience without needing be in every neighborhood

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