Why Doesn’t Starbucks Use Square?

I don’t know if everyone heard about it, but this week Starbucks had a near global complete meltdown over their cash register system. There were rumors of rioting in the Baltimore area stores and…gasp…some places even gave away free coffee since they couldn’t ring it up. You can read all about it HERE.

Now, the thing I’m not hearing anyone talk about is the hypocrisy Starbucks is running into by even allowing the catastrophe to happen. Let me explain.

At my local Starbucks up front at the register where they sell CD’s, gift cards, and the Kind bars they’ve gotten me hooked on, they also have a display for Square. If you’re not familiar with Square, it’s a credit card scanner that hooks into a cell phone and enables anyone to run cards and start a business. Square revolutionized the credit card processing business. I use Square for all of my businesses. My wife even uses Square to run cards when we have garage sales.

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Here’s the hypocrisy…

  • Starbucks experienced a computer glitch that shut  down all of their cash registers.
  • This one event likely cost them millions.
  • In front of every cash register was a Square device that would have saved them.

Here’s all it would have taken.

Starbucks would need employees and managers empowered to take action on behalf of the company or the customer. A manager could’ve reached across the counter, grabbed a Square, set up an account on her phone, charged customers half price for the longer wait, and then let corporate work out the details afterward.

Starbucks could still put systems in place to use Square in such a manner as a backup. It’s just so easy and so simple that no one thought of it or was allowed to do it. Instead, Starbucks ran headlong into another embarrassing incident, an odd follow-up to their failed racial awareness campaign.

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Solutions like this are what I do for a living. I help companies and people come explore unique solutions to ordinary problems, even intractable ones. Check me out. Maybe I can help you too.

If you’re not using Square, maybe you should be. HERE is a referral code for them. Sign up HERE and both of us get free processing for a bit.

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

I’ll Try to Do More Before 8am than You Do All Day

I’ll try to do more before 8am than you do all day.

I used to anyway.

Nowadays, that doesn’t work for me so much. My morning routine has changed a lot over the years, but, right now, I’ve found a comfortable one that works. I’m sure it’ll change at some point as my life evolves, but I enjoy it now. It works. I was prompted to think about it after reading a recent blog on Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits site. HERE’s the link if you’d like to read it too.

(I actually met him a few years ago at the World Domination Summit. He’s as cool in real life as he is on the blog.)

Here’s my morning routine, but I’m not telling you so you’ll think I’m The Man. I’m telling you because I want you to be purposeful in thinking about your own morning routine. Examine each and every part of it and make sure it’s wanted or necessary instead of just letting life and all those little things happen to you. Many of my little morning rituals were developed through constant experimentation from examining the rituals of other successful people. I’ll give them credit when I remember where I got the idea.

I get up around 8. I kind of just pop awake between 0730 and 0810 most mornings. I use alarms when I absolutely have to be awake by a set time. Otherwise I let my body’s natural alarm clock do the waking. I used to try to get up early because I saw that as a virtue, but it’s not. Don’t let early risers make you feel bad if it doesn’t work for you. Here’s a tip…MOST people get up early and develop that habit for one of two reasons…

  1. They’re stuck in a job or lifestyle that they can’t escape from that demands early rising.
  2. They have a job they enjoy that requires early rising and they make that sacrifice for the job.

Taking a cue from Tony Robbins I splash cold water all over my face and head to wake up my central nervous system and get my mind active right away. My kids call this my “It’s game time!” activity because that’s what I scream when I do this.

My nutrition day starts as soon as I get up because I have certain supplements that need to be taken 30 minutes before breakfast. I’m hooked on Advocare products, so most of my non-food stuff comes from there. I drink a Spark mix and take stage 1 of my MNS (Metabolic Nutrition System) first thing. This gets my metabolism going (game time for my innards). In half an hour I’ll drink a protein shake for my breakfast. For my breakfast I kind of follow Tim Ferriss’ 30-30-30 rule from his book 4-Hour Body.

During breakfast is also when I start my first mental activities. First thing I do is read a chapter of my Bible. One portion of my spiritual studies is to read through the Bible from start to finish. I’ve gone from 10 chapters a day to 1 and everywhere in between. Right now, I read one chapter a day and try to really digest it through quality rather than quantity. It’s a slow process, but I’ve read the entire Bible through four times in my life. Right now, I’m in the book of 1 Kings and the stories of Elijah. My personal Bible is a Classic Note Bible in the King James Version. It’s a huge Bible because every other page is blank. I enjoy taking notes, pasting pictures, etc right in the pages.

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After my Bible reading I read from a book about the Bible. I do this to gain further insight and understanding from others. I’m not so vain to think that God only speaks through me. Right now, I’m reading from The Sure Word of Prophecy by Dr. Peter Ruckman. Ruckman is a really interesting guy. Check out his Wikipedia entry and you’ll get an idea why. I don’t agree with everything he says, but the guy is a true innovator in religious thought.

After I read a few pages in my Bible book, I delve into my prayer journal. I pray often at different times of the day and for different reasons, but this small time of prayer is when I pray for those closest to me. This is what I call a written prayer. I actually write the prayer down in my journal as I speak to God. This is adapted from a practice I learned during a class from Dr. Doug Dorman at Your Next Step Institute.

By this point, one of several of my kids have woken up. I have 4, so they usually make enough noise to wake up the others as well. They all have their own little jobs so they get started on breakfast prep. Because we homeschool, the kids wake up on their own schedule, so usually sometime between 0730 and 0930.

Once breakfast for them is over, they split up and start their own homeschool studies or chores. Each one has their own list of stuff that’s supposed to get done each day. Really, all I do in the morning is help them get started and guide them a little. From my 3-year-old on up, they work independently very well.

While their school is getting started, I switch from prayer journal to my first work of the day. There are only two work items I try to accomplish at the house before heading into the office.

Number one, I work on research. There’s always a project going on, so I’m usually doing some research in a book I have or online. This part doesn’t involve any writing. It’s just the research portion, mainly taking notes. Number two, I open up one of my current projects and write approximately a thousand words. It’s all writing right now. No editing or proof-reading. I just want the process of putting words on paper. Because of the way my mind works, I keep several projects going at any given time so I can switch back and forth to keep from getting bored or bogged down. The 1000 words thing I picked up from Chris Guillebeau, best-selling author of The Art of Non-Conformity and other books.

After this, I get ready for the day, paying special attention to primping my fiercely massive red beard. I ride my bike in to the office anytime between 9 and 10, depending on how the morning has gone.

One habit I had to break some time ago and really stick to is to stay away from e-mail and social media. It made my morning so much smoother and happier once I made this switch.

That’s me. How do you spend your mornings? What would you like to change?

This message was written by a team of geeks, nerds, gamers, and Dr. David Powers. You can always find us at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Take Time for the Big Problems

Everyone should take some time for themselves to work on the big problems in life.

I do this over coffee with my good friend Mark. He has an office next door to mine. I’ve known him forever. I first met him in a rock climbing class that he was teaching at the local university. I was still in high school, and it was my first taste of climbing. Since then, we served in the same Marine Corps unit. We worked as partners for over a decade on an ambulance. We’ve been on climbing trips together. And we solve global issues over coffee.

When Mark’s off work, and I’m in the office, I’ll walk over at about 2:30. He’ll have a new pot of coffee brewing, and that time of day is usually a transition point for me. We drink a few mugs of coffee and, over about half an hour, brainstorm and solve big issues. It’s an informal, caffeine-fueled think tank.

Some of the things we’ve worked on…

  • legalization of marijuana
  • abolishing the IRS and instituting a new tax system
  • peace in the Middle East
  • rebuilding the education system in America
  • child-rearing

We’ve hit on a lot of other issues too. Some of our ideas make it out of the office. Others are just pure speculative ponderings. It’s a good time though. It’s all about fellowship with a friend and thinking about issues beyond ourselves. You don’t have to do this over coffee, or with a friend, or in your office, but what do you do during the day to encourage free thought, work on other people’s issues, or even decompress? Find something that can do that for you. It’ll make you feel better, and, who knows, maybe you’ll solve one of those big issues.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

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The Weekly Grinding of the Bean

I’m feeling a little whimsical today, so I thought I’d have a fun posting of the coffee pics.

Our first post comes from a somewhat deluded villain in the comic Anti. In what world is a punch in the face a better wake-up than coffee?

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Now we know where SHIELD hides their listening posts. Proximity to good coffee always makes a better worker.

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For something a little more less comic and more science, here’s an article from an old Muscle and Performance magazine.

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And our final posting today is from White Collar and an attempt at fellowship and reconcilitation over a cup of coffee. If you’ve seen this episode, you know that it even had a nice coffee song to go with it. Truth be told, though, the FBI coffee doesn’t even come close to matching the coffee made by a dedicated gentleman art thief.

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This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

Embrace the “I Don’t Know”

I’m off on adventure time. Not like the cartoon with Finn and Jake but close. My baby does have a Finn diaper bag. No, I’m off on adventure time with my family to north Georgia to do some hiking and exploring.

It’s weird, but as much as I like new experiences and challenges, I’m just not one to try new eateries that often. I often opt for the same old chain places and order the same old thing every time. I like regularity with my foodstuffs.

We were in downtown Dahlonega GA tonight, just walking around looking for a coffee shop for some hot brew. Me and my mom walked down to a place by the name of The Crimson Moon right off Main Street. I thought it was just a coffee shop. Turns out it was a restaurant as well. I was gonna turn around and find a ‘just a coffee shop’ spot, but my mom said “Nay”.

“Let’s all sit down, and go ahead and eat here,” she says.

“Grumble, grumble,” says I.

Turns out my mom new way better than I did.

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The Crimson Moon is a cafe, a bar, and a coffee shop complete with a stage and sound system for live mic performances. I believe it used to be an old store and you can still look around and see the old panelling, ceiling tiles, and original glass in some of the windows.

We all enjoyed a great meal with most of the place to ourselves. Not one to eat that many veggies, I ordered a vegetable platter that was awesome. My son had a fancy grilled cheese with three cheeses, onions, and spinach. Even the baby had a great meal. He cried when all the sweet potato chips were gone.

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Our waitress was pretty cool. She was the epitome of sweet southern charm all wrapped up in a cute package.

Oh, I had that coffee too, before I left. I sipped on the Gemini, which was a vanilla hazelnut latte.

So, don’t be afraid to embrace the “I’m not sure” times in your life. Sometimes you may strike out, but I’d say that you’ll nail it most of the time, like we did today. If you’re ever in Dahlonega GA, park somewhere near the Gold Rush museum, walk around a bit to work up an appetite, and then stop into The Crimson Moon for a great meal or coffee.

This message was written by Dr. David Powers. You can always find me at www.drdavidpowers.com. Thanks for reading!

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If Coffee Doesn’t Kill Me, It Will Only Make Me Stronger

Here’s a couple more pics from Land of a Thousand Hills. This one is yumm-o, as Rachel Ray would say!

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Stuck in Asgard. Armor not working. Tony Stark’s still got his priorities right. He wants coffee. These pics are from Avengers Prime issues 1 and 4, respectively.

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My wife made this awesome Red Velvet Cake dessert with Trader Joe’s Coffee Sugar sprinkles on top.

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I have never been a fan of powdered non-dairy creamer (which isn’t really non-dairy). Apparently, others agree.

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Here’s a scene from an old 1943 Barnaby and Mr. O’Malley comic strip.

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I saw this awesome cardboard cafe in a parenting magazine. My kids have played in cardboard houses and even a cardboard Spongebob pineapple house, but the cafe is new to me. Pretty cool!

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You’d Be Faster and Smarter If You Drank More Coffee

Here’s one of my favorite parts of the week, the Wednesday coffee post.

I don’t really know of any reason good enough to throw an espresso. What a waste!

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I checked out an issue of the comic Too Much Coffee Man. It’s kinda weird, but, hey, it’s all about the coffee lifestyle.

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I don’t know how many times I have to say it. PLease DO NOT mention coffee in any ad that also features any type of animal or human poo!

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Arrgghh! Why are you spilling the coffee?

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I want the coffee robot. That’s all I can say about this. I want one!

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I love this! Having a Starbucks nearby raises home values. Forget good schools. If you’re selling your house, advertise the nearby Starbucks.

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