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Some reactions to Michael Sansolo’s column yesterday about how technology can be creepy when it crosses a line … as when he got an email about coming back from a bike accident one day after having a bike accident.

One MNB reader wrote:

Technology is a double edged sword. The app on your phone was accessing data from the accelerometer in your phone, and “sensed” the rapid drop when you fell.

An artificial intelligence algorithm put two and two together and predicted that you fell.

Just like my phone telling me every afternoon how long it will take to get home based on current traffic.

We live in a world where the only constant is change!


And regarding Zappos’ ability to respond to returns even before it has received them, another MNB reader wrote:

Amazon also does the same thing concerning returns, as soon as I leave the UPS store my refund is in my bank account within 24 hours, which I think is fantastic customer service!



Regarding the possibility that Starbucks’ Howard Schultz could run for president after his departure from the company, I commented, in part:

I have no idea if he will run, or if he can win anything. But I do think this…

I have not always been a big Schultz fan. I think he has a bit of a Messiah complex, with a big ego, and that he has occasionally overstepped in both ambition and execution. But it also seems to me that for the most part his heart is in the right place, that he largely has tried to do the right thing for his employees, his customers, and his company. His career has been about lifting people up, and about aspiration. That’s a pretty good beginning for a political campaign.


One MNB reader responded:

Would be hilarious if he ran for President. Would get about as many votes as Jill Stein … Here is the deal, Trump won because his message resonated with the majority of Americans. Build jobs, lower taxes America First is what everyone wants. Trump has done what he said he would do and the country is better off than under Obama. Schultz is to the left of the left and when you try to message this garbage all it does is pisses people off. Not saying its right or wrong but people in Iowa don't want to be told that they have to be inclusive to be a good person. You might be able to run a business that caters to every possible made-up sexual preference but the average American thinks that's a joke. If Schultz were to run and run on his record at Starbucks he will lose and lose badly.

You may be right.

However, I feel compelled to point something out. I don’t question that Trump’s message resonated with enough Americans in enough of the right states to win the election. No argument. It remains to be seen if it will continue to resonate. That’s what elections are for. (For the record, at this moment, I would not bet against the GOP maintaining its dominance in the House and Senate, nor would I bet against Trump in 2020.) But you have to be careful with that “majority of Americans” argument. Because that’s simply not accurate for the 2016 election, by something like 2.8 million.

It also is important to point out that Starbucks has an average of about 500 customers a day per store, and has about 14,000 stores in the US. That’s seven million customers a day. And I think a pretty high percentage of those people are such regular customers that they use the Starbucks mobile app.

That’s a lot of people. I just wouldn’t make assumptions about whether a Schultz candidacy would resonate.

MNB reader Mike Lawrence wrote:

There are so few major business leaders who lead with their conscience (or even hear their conscience) that Howard Schultz should be appreciated for showing it is possible to do, even while growing a profitable business and respected brand. As for possible political ambitions, our country’s political leadership is so short of heart, soul, respect, empathy, and dignity that we could use a whole bunch of Howard Schultzes right now.

From another reader:

Couldn't agree more.  He's the kind of leadership we could use more of in Washington today.  Great values, great message.  Look forward to seeing this happen.

From MNB reader Todd Ruberg:

I’ve had the good fortune of spending some time with Howard Schultz and his company. He was a guest speaker at P&G’s annual Global Leadership Council meeting…..he sat in front of us and for an hour, without notes, told the most interesting stories and learnings, and had thoughtful responses to our questions. He was really captivating, and genuine. I’ve done some work with Starbucks and it seems that to an employee he is held in a high regard, even when he has made tough choices. Now, personally I worry about political neophytes (based on current experience!) and think we have a strange obsession with celebrity potential as candidates (Oprah! George Clooney!). But if the country must have an “outsider”, I do believe Schultz is a man of substance.

And, finally, from MNB reader Doug Madenberg:

If you’re put off by a messiah complex, then Schultz should be a breath of fresh air.
KC's View: