I get a warm, cozy feeling from Starbucks. It’s very much like the warm, cozy feeling when I think about the fact that we’re on the same Fast Company list with them (they’re #24). Everyone knows that Starbucks is a giant in the corporate world. But not as many people know about its humble beginnings on a cobblestone street in the middle of Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington. I was fortunate enough to grow up right near Pike Place Market, where visiting the very first Starbucks location for my morning cup was a common occurrence. Only the old-fashioned sign and a small gold plaque give away the significance of the shop – well, that, and the line of tourists clamoring for a picture in front of the window.
Today Starbucks is much more than a charming spice, tea, and coffee vendor – it constantly pushes the frontiers of technology/corporate partnerships, from the in-store music promotions to the extremely cool augmented reality Cup Magic App. Starbucks will always have a hometown spot in my heart, and now, I’m excited to see it recognized as the innovative company it truly is.