- Zev Siegl, co-founder of Starbucks, talked to Business Insider Polska about advice for first-time founders and the impact of technology on doing business.
- Siegl said new founders can become product-obsessed and should remember to focus on potential investors and future customers.
- Compared to today, running a business in 1971, when Starbucks opened its first store, was “like we were living in the 19th century.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
While Zev Siegl’s name may not be very well known, the franchise he created in the 1970s is.
Siegl, co-founder of Starbucks, talked to Business Insider Polska about creating his own business and what has changed the most since he started. Siegl will be a guest of the 2019 Business Insider Trends Festival conference, which will take place on October 2 and 3 in Warsaw.
The idea for Starbucks was born when Siegl was at lunch with two colleagues, Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker, in Seattle. The group discussed how difficult it is to find a decent cup of coffee, and when the one at the restaurant was below expectations, the idea for Starbucks was born as somewhere they could reliably enjoy a good drink.
BI: You started Starbucks in the 70s — do you think it would be possible to build a similarly-structured coffee company from scratch today, and to have the same success as a company like Starbucks?
ZS: Yes, I do, if the definition of success is a new company that can differentiate itself from existing business, appeal to a growing number of customers, and eventually earn sufficient profit to please the founders and the investors. It’s happening all over the world.
What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in running your own business since the start of your business career?
The impact of technology on business operations and the impact of social media and the internet on marketing. Compared to 2019, the year 1971 [when Starbucks opened its first store] was like living in the 19th century.
Do you have any lessons about mistakes or choices you made in your time founding a business that you think could be of benefit to first-time entrepreneurs?
There is a belief among entrepreneurs that, if the original business plan doesn’t work, it will be possible to adjust it and eventually succeed. But the company’s capital base has often evaporated by the time that decision is made, and investors won’t help because they fear that the one failure will turn into two.
Is it possible today to run a business without using technology?
Technology can be a fantastic ally to every businessperson! Tech makes it possible — especially for startups — to operate much more efficiently and at a lower cost. Today, even small organic farms utilize technology extensively.
In the context of a world that’s currently changing faster and is more globalized than ever before, what would your most important piece of advice be to first-time entrepreneurs setting up a new business?
First-time entrepreneurs often have a product-oriented mindset; i.e. they are in love with their innovative new product. Instead, they need to see their new company through the eyes of potential investors and its future customers. It’s not just about the product.
Read the original article on Business Insider Polska. Copyright 2019.
This story originally appeared on Business Insider Polska and has been translated from Polish.
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Fans Celebrate #HOV50 and Share Favorite Jay Z Lyrics on Music Mogul’s 50th Birthday
In honor of Jay-Z’s 50th birthday, fans all across the globe flooded social media with warm messages of love and support.The hashtag #HOV50 began to trend early in the morning on Twitter on Wednesday as a result of the many well wishes from the longtime rappers’ fans.Fans opened up on some of their most memorable…
In honor of Jay-Z’s 50th birthday, fans all across the globe flooded social media with warm messages of love and support.
The hashtag #HOV50 began to trend early in the morning on Twitter on Wednesday as a result of the many well wishes from the longtime rappers’ fans.
Fans opened up on some of their most memorable moments involving the music mogul—whose birth name is Shawn Carter but is commonly referred to by fans as Hov, short for Hova. They also posted messages of the many ways Jay-Z has inspired them, including with hundreds of photos, gifs and video clips of him in action.
Many people used the Brooklyn native’s birthday to reflect on his work over the last three decades, listing their favorite albums, songs and guest features from the rapper.
Album rankings weren’t the only way fans recognized Jay-Z on his 50th birthday. Several people took to Twitter to commemorate the award-winning lyricist by sharing their favorite verses ever rapped by him. Classic Jay-Z lines from chart-toppers like “Hard Knock Life,” “Song Cry,” “Say Hello,” and his guest feature on Kanye West’s “Diamonds From Sierra Leone” were spotted on Twitter timelines.
Meanwhile, some fans said they’d celebrate Jay-Z’s birthday by listening to his lengthy discography all day long.
Jay-Z made listening to his catalog a whole lot easier for some of his fans when he re-released his entire catalog of music again on Spotify.
The Roc Nation founder removed much of his work from the platform in April 2017 to the dismay of many loyal listeners just ahead of the release of his latest album, 4:44.
At the time the move seemed like a ploy to get fans to subscribe to TIDAL, the music streaming service he owns and operates. Now, Spotify users will get to listen to all of Jay-Z’s albums and songs ranging from his 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt and so-called career retirement project The Black Album in 2003, his 2011 Watch the Throne collaboration album with West and several other staples.
Since he first emerged on the rap scene in the 1990s, fans have admired and praised Jay-Z for his many punchlines, thought-provoking lyrics and masterful storytelling. A natural wordsmith, he has kept listeners fascinated and moved with his ability to flow over a beat with grace and pizzaz—not to mention the fact that he creates hit after hit without writing his lyrics down.
It’s a long-known fact Jay-Z doesn’t write his albums but rather hits the studio with a few words already in mind before he jumps on a track. That habit sparked a number of younger singers and rappers following in his footsteps by not pre-writing lyrics to their songs.
“It just felt better [the way I do it now],” he said during a 2007 interview with MTV News. “In my mind, I said, ‘OK, I’m gonna sit down and I’m [going to] just write it and really do this thing a certain way.’ But your natural process is your process. It’s difficult to go back to what you was doing when you was 15, 16 years old. My process is different now. It sounds great on paper, like ‘I’m [going to] sit down, I’m going to write the entire album like I did before.’ But once you get back in the studio and you’ve been doing this process for years and years now, so it just felt natural to do it the way I’ve been doing it: no paper, no pen, just listen to the music.”
See more of how fans are celebrating Jay-Z’s birthday below.