GTA Book Review: ‘Starbucked’ by Taylor Clark
By Trish Dillon
In Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture, author Taylor Clark chronicles the rise of the Starbucks Corporation. He describes the history of why coffee has become so popular in the United States, from the Boston Tea party to various scientific experiments on how to make the perfect cup of coffee. Clark even includes a brief history of competitor Peet’s Coffee.
I chose to read Starbucked because the first lesson of Game Theory Academy presents students with a scenario: Imagine a choice between one of the two gift cards. Either a $15 BART card or $10 Starbucks gift card. Then we ask students, “Which one do you want?” Although, the majority of participants choose the BART ticket, there are the few who choose the less valuable Starbucks card. We ask the participants to explain their answer, and although their reasons vary, it usually is based on preference. We then ask them, “What is in your best interest?” Participants acknowledge that the Starbucks card may not be in their best interest but they would rather have the Starbucks card, especially if they aren’t regular BART riders.
Starbucked offers an in-depth analysis of human behavior based on lifestyle, preference and, of course, coffee. If you’re a coffee fanatic who has ever wondered: How is Starbucks coffee is always consistent with taste? Or, what is it about their franchise that has 40 million customers lining up every week just to pay $4.50 for one cup of coffee? Then I recommend that you read Starbucked.