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当代最伟大的12位企业家

John A. Bryne 2012年03月30日

创业金点子来之不易,但要把理念一步步付诸实施难度就更大了。本文历数了当代最伟大的12位企业家,带您一起回顾他们将创业点子打造成公司、改变当代商业面貌的历程。

6. 霍华德•舒尔茨

公司名称:星巴克

销售额:117亿美元

市值:400亿美元

员工人数:149,000

建议:不断挑战传统。

    这次经济衰退最困难的时期,很多分析师和媒体专家都认为星巴克(Starbucks)成了消费习惯改变的牺牲品。阔别星巴克八年后、2008年初再次出任首席执行官的霍华德•舒尔茨对此却并不认同。

    舒尔茨重返星巴克的时候,公司的利润和营收都在下降。股价跌得非常厉害,以至于他都担心公司可能会被收购。当时,星巴克早已是一个超越自有消费人群的品牌。舒尔茨的做法是企业创始人很少会做,但所有伟大的企业家常常要做的:他给星巴克带来了财务纪律、盈利效率以及返璞归真。

    增长和成功掩盖了很多错误,导致了巨大的浪费。例如,这家全球最大的印度茶拿铁供应商当时每年光是将多出来的蒸牛奶倒入下水道这一项就要浪费几千万美元。在牛奶壶内放一个锯齿状内环,帮助调咖啡者掌握一杯拿铁应使用多少牛奶,星巴克就省下了几百万美元。“谁也不会觉得一个牛奶壶有啥稀奇,”舒尔茨说。“但在星巴克,它非常重要。”

    正如史蒂夫•乔布斯之于苹果公司,霍华德•舒尔茨的二度出山拯救了星巴克,使它摆脱了流于平庸的命运。而且,重振这个标志性品牌的同时,58岁的舒尔茨也做到了大多数创始人都难以做到的事情:挑战传统。

6. Howard Schultz

Company: Starbucks

Sales: $11.7 billion

Market Value: $40 billion

Employees: 149,000

Advice: Always challenge the old ways.

    In the darkest days of the Great Recession, many analysts and media pundits had written off Starbucks as an overreaching victim of changing consumer habits. Howard Schultz, who regained his job as CEO in early 2008 after an eight-year hiatus, would have none of it.

    When he returned, Starbucks' profits and revenues were tanking. The stock price had fallen so severely that at one point he feared the company could be taken over. Starbucks had become a brand that had been stretched beyond its demography. But Schultz did what few builders of companies are known to do -- but what all of the greatest entrepreneurs always do: He brought financial discipline, bottom-line efficiency, and a back-to-basics focus to the company.

    Growth and success had covered up a lot of mistakes and led to a tremendous amount of waste. The world's dominant purveyor of chai lattes, for example, had been losing tens of millions of dollars a year by pouring excess steamed milk down the drain. By simply putting a serrated internal ring inside a pitcher to guide how much milk a barista should use for a latte, Starbucks saved millions. "You wouldn't think a steaming pitcher could be sexy," says Schultz. "But it became very sexy at Starbucks."

    As with Steve Jobs at Apple, the second coming of Howard Schultz saved Starbucks from being just another also-ran. And in turning around an iconic brand, Schultz, now 58, demonstrated that he could do what most founders are said not to do: challenge the old way of doing things.

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