Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino

By Kim Fellner | Go to book overview

2
Running the 10-K

To present a company’s best face, annual meetings tend to include plenty of spectacle and flash, a way to show stockholders, the press, and the public that the company is simultaneously comfortable and innovative. These meetings also spawn a forest of paperwork. To follow Schultz’s parallel visions of profit and principle, I began with two Starbucks reports: the annual 10-K that every public company must file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the annual Starbucks Corporate Responsibility Report. These reports are looking-glass images—one justifying the business in market terms, the other validating it in human terms.

The Starbucks 10-K is a catalogue of achievements, goals, and risks anchored in numbers. Gray and single-spaced, the document is a bracing antidote to the chatter and hyperbole that frequently surround the company. It’s where you get a chance to rummage through a company’s clean, folded linen, looking for loose buttons and stains that haven’t quite disappeared in the wash; a place where you can hunt for lost socks. That is, if you know where to look.

I handed the 2005 report to analyst and activist Randy Barber of the Center for Economic Organizing. A few weeks later he offered this summary: “When you go by the numbers, this 10-K looks and quacks not like a culture, but like a corporation,” albeit one that was doing very nicely indeed: it had plenty of profits and considerable growth coexisting with minimal debt.

-27-

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Wrestling with Starbucks: Conscience, Capital, Cappuccino
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction - The Global Economy Comes Home 1
  • 1 - The Empire Strikes Gold 15
  • 2 - Running the 10-K 27
  • 3 - Banking on the Bean 47
  • 4 - Go Sell It on the Mountain 69
  • 5 - Moving Up on Eighth Street 105
  • 6 - The Cross­dressing of Coffee-Counter Culture 123
  • 7 - When Worker Met Partner 140
  • 8 - At the Global Crossroads 163
  • 9 - The View from Headquarters 186
  • 10 - Capitalism Is like Fire … 203
  • 11 - Goodness as Battleground 220
  • 12 - Bread. Roses. Coffee 236
  • Acknowledgments 245
  • Notes 249
  • Index 267
  • About the Author 285
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