Talk Shop Fridays: Angst & Alliance

Posted on October 19, 2007 Under Life

There is a Starbucks in Boulder, CO that is open 24 hours. At inopportune moments, and generally those containing some degree of panic, this Starbucks offers a degree of convenience that independent coffee shops typically can’t– which is to say, the ability to find an internet connection when your own decides to die at 3 a.m. (which only seems to happen when the consequences of having no internet also mandate your own death). I would be grateful for this but for one thing: Darling Starbucks still charges for internet. The responsibility for this disservice is actually shared with T-Mobile, a partnership communicated as groundbreaking yet realized as a classic example of corporate ignorance. Every time I have to pay for a 24-hour internet pass, I’m reminded of why Pumpkin Spice Lattes will never measure up to locally brewed americanos, and for some reason, this makes me hate both of the companies behind the $9.99 charge (…and in a weird, aggressive way that manifests itself in away messages involving Catherine Zeta Jones and scalding cappuccinos).

The Starbucks/T-Mobile alliance is only one of several corporate partnerships that make little sense to the people supposedly benefiting from them. Today, in a totally opposite approach to that situation, we want to ask you: If you could meld the power of any two companies together in order to do something good, what would it look like? Who would the companies be, what would their alliance do, and how would it help? Because the truth is, there’s power in collaboration, and even though Starbucks and T-Mobile don’t get that, we do.

Bonus reading: How I’d Communicate My Feelings About Starbucks’ Wi-Fi if I were a Soap Opera Writer, a Hollywood Screenwriter, A Sci-Fi Writer, A Playwright, or an Email Writer @ McSweeney’s