Not so Dumb Starbucks may be quite a smart performance

February 11, 2014
Dumb StarbucksA recently opened store  offers coffee under the name Dumb  Starbucks.  it has considerable visual similarities with the well-known coffee brand.  It may be a case of blatant passing off.  Or it may be a smartly judged piece of performance art 

From a distance, the store in Los Angeles  looks like a Starbucks coffee shop. Except the premises are labelled Dumb Starbucks.  Coffee in cardboard cups of  familiar-looking colours is offered.

The people behind it claim the product to be performance art.  The argument is grounded in the principle of fair comment in a parody performance.  The case is strengthened by cleverly built-in features.  The coffee is given away not sold.  Those responsible have a track record of TV comedy spoofs.  The Dumb Starbucks logo is consistent across the set including those coffee cups.

There is an interesting blurring of the line between art and reality, which is sometimes a deliberate effort on the part of the artist.  Even this blog post could be seen as either a comment on a possible legal issue or as a review of a piece of performance art…

To go more deeply 

Later it emerged that performance  comedian Nathan Fielder was behind the rather successful stunt

See the gastronomy site which alerted the world to the Los Angeles pop up store

The ‘store’ was quickly shut down after only an hour. The @DumbStarbucks twitter account appears to be inactive [6am GMT February 11th 2014]


Will you say yes to yesware?

July 31, 2013

Yesware offers a way of managing your emails. As emails increasingly are becoming unmanageable, the product is tapping into a widespread business and social need

The Yesware organization has hit on a great business idea. The videolink here is the corporate webpage

Its software has attracted positive reviews:

Yesware does a few things;

Tracks emails – you can see when someone has read your email, and more (please read their FAQ for info on any limitations)
Custom email templates
CRM Sync – connect email right to your CRM
Analytics – see your email analytics right in Gmail

It’s designed and marketed for Sales. But, “Hello” link builders… meet your new best friend.

I look forward to following its progress. Meanwhile, here is the output of an imagined nightmare scenario for the entrepreneurial organization:

To Yesware

We are a global company with headquarters in the Vatican. Our CEO has encouraged us to use social media to promote our brand and to retain a customer focused approach. Can you help us.

To Yesware

We are a global megagiant. We would like to do no evil but we are increasingly plagued by email messages that sneak though our very expensive spam filters, purporting to come from potential customers. What should we do?

Dear Yesware

Loved the review I read about about you on the web. You should beware of phonies out there wasting your time with spurious emails. I bet you get thousands every day. You should try our proven nukespam system which reaches millions of potential customers every day and filters out time-wasting replies

Dear Yesware

Jime bottle is the pretty much buy our clean no in the Internet. Lowest prices for oval tube boring. Wrapping oral tube supplis.

Dear Yesware

We successfully promote crowdsourcing events. We need a system to avoid infiltration from security forces, hackers and leakers, imprisoned fraudsters, juveniles using parents’ smartphones. Can you help us?

Dear contact [Message from Yesware]

Thank you for your contribution to the overwhelming volume of traffic we received due to recent publicity on the world-famous Leaders We Deserve site. Unfortunately we have become the victim of a service denial attack. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

The Ballad of Northern Rock

November 26, 2007


Weap not for me my Darling
my days are not yet numbered
for Good Sir Richard comes for me
while all around him slumbered

Fear not for me my Darling
of any knavish plot.
Soon I shall be his virgin queen,
his court a Camelot

Rejoice with me my Darling
for this I’ll be remembered
I have survived the primal jeers
and shall not be dismembered

Prepare the house my Darling
order the bridal gown
for I shall be his Northern Rock
the jewel in his crown

Ralph Stogdill at Ohio State

October 16, 2007


Sic Transit Gloria Theoria

Ralph Stogdill at Ohio State
helped weaken the status of ‘trait’
But then we grew weary
of State sponsored theory
which suffered a similar fate

Proposed examination question on Leadership 101

Discuss the role of Stogdill in the decline of interest in trait theories of leadership.

Image acknowledgement

British Council