Fighting over the money while the rest of the industry moves forward.
I know many people have great respect for Peet’s. I do, myself — no, really, I’m no longer much into their style but they were highly influential in bringing quality arabica coffee to the buying public — but this sort of high-stakes, big-money style stand-off over sub-par coffee packaging, and the money that can be made with it, just doesn’t fit my image of the quality driven coffee company I once knew.
Sometimes I wish that the Peet’s board of directors’ grand vision would make an abrupt u-turn and that they would forcefully push aside all of the Starbucks-chasing products they carry to re-focus on doing what they do best: sourcing great coffee, roasting it their way and serving it with a focus on quality that, until recently, Starbucks could only dream of (hint: it’s not because Starbucks has gotten any better). The other dream is that what’s left of those core strengths – the roasting end of the business – would spin off and rid itself of this misbegotten money chase. Maybe they need their own Steve Jobs.
Apple didn’t get to where they are today by following the leader – they haven’t been directly competing with Microsoft for years – but became the fabulously profitable and influential company they are today due to an unfailing focus on doing what they do best and damn the rest.