Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Why Enterprise Architects should buy stock in Starbucks

In a previous blog entry I listed my top five stock holdings in my own investment portfolio but should have taken it much deeper to include Starbucks which is number six as well as explain my rationale for not only owning it but thinking about investing even more money in it.

As you may be aware, I am big into companies that have a sense of community (kinda the same reason I am drawn to open source) and Starbucks has this nailed. Likewise, Starbucks has been steadily growing since its inception and hasn't even seen any bounds to it. Starbucks could double the amount of stores in the United States easily and not run into competition. Likewise, they have the ability to expand internationally into untapped markets.

While social responsibility and strong growth potential are key indicators for me to own a stock, the other important attribute is whether a particular company has strong enterprise architecture. I can emphatically say that Starbucks has bested their competition in the discipline of enterprise architecture as well.

The real test of good enterprise architecture is not when things are flowing smoothly. Instead good architecture stands the test of time when it is put to the challenge. Starbucks was challenged during Hurricane Katrina when they got a request from the American Red Cross to donate coffee. Starbucks not only determined that it could donate 30,000 pounds of coffee but was able to also throw in 235,000 bottles of water and 44,000 pastries without affecting supplies to its retail stores. The Enterprise Architects at Starbucks nailed the supply chain problem that plagues other enterprises. They have laser sight into their inventory and could adjust flow on demand.

The final reason that one should consider investing money in Starbucks is that they were started in Washington near the folks at Microsoft. Anyone who creates a situation that causes Microsoft folk to buy Java can't be all that bad...

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