Business

Dear Fellow Americans, Few topics in America generate a more polarized and emotional debate than guns. In recent months, Starbucks stores and our partners (employees) who work in our stores have been thrust unwillingly into the middle of this debate. That’s why I am writing today with a respectful request that customers no longer bring firearms into our stores or outdoor seating areas. From the beginning, our vision at Starbucks has been to create a “third place” between home and work where people can come together to enjoy the peace and pleasure of coffee and community. Our values have always centered on building community rather than dividing people, and our stores exist to give every customer a safe and comfortable respite from the concerns of daily life. We appreciate that...
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Dear World Gold Council Executives; As you very well know, the business environment for gold producers has been extremely challenging over the past few years. While demand for physical gold remains extremely strong, prices on the COMEX have fallen precipitously. This contradictory situation is the single most important obstacle to a healthy gold mining industry. In my opinion, the massive imbalance between supply and demand is not reflected in prices because available statistics are misleading. It is not the first time that GFMS (and World Gold Council) statistics have come under pressure from the investment community. In his now celebrated “The 1998 Gold Book Annual”, Frank Veneroso demonstrated the inconsistencies in GFMS gold demand data and proceeded to show how they grossly...
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Dear Ms. Bartz, I just finished reading your demoralizing letter regarding recent layoffs at Yahoo over at All Things Digital. Although I’m only a Yahoo user, not an employee, I am a heavy user of your Flickr product — a product that I’ve enjoyed and loved for many years now. As such, I watch how Yahoo is run with keen interest, mostly because I’m worried about how your corporate leadership will affect that site which I love so much. For your first year of your reign at Yahoo you gave yourself a grade of B-, this past year you seemed a little more defensive and gave yourself a grade of simply “pass.” You’ve had the you know what kicked out of you, of course, by most of the tech and financial press over the past few years and have come back swinging yourself in odd ways. Telling Mike...
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Dear Tom: I hope you don’t mind the open, public nature of this letter. I tried to find a way to contact you directly, but your email address seems to be guarded with all of the security of Fort Knox. How do you get that arrangement? I ask, because I think it would make my life easier in corporate America if I, too, could shield myself from any concerns, wants, needs or questions that others might have. That might, in fact, make my workday a whole lot easier. So, if you have thoughts on how I might accomplish that, I’m looking to you for guidance. Tom, I didn’t even know you existed until I began to explore Comcast’s website for ways that I might solve my ongoing Comcast issues. You see, I tried to call today to follow up on something your company committed to communicating with...
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Dear Mr. Chairman: We believe the Federal Reserve's large-scale asset purchase plan (so-called "quantitative easing") should be reconsidered and discontinued. We do not believe such a plan is necessary or advisable under current circumstances. The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation, and we do not think they will achieve the Fed's objective of promoting employment. We subscribe to your statement in The Washington Post on November 4 that "the Federal Reserve cannot solve all the economy's problems on its own." In this case, we think improvements in tax, spending and regulatory policies must take precedence in a national growth program, not further monetary stimulus. We disagree with the view that inflation needs to be pushed higher, and worry that...
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Dear Mr. Schultz, While I have expressed my doubts about the wisdom of encouraging any potentially controversial conversations while in the time-sensitive position of serving customers, I appreciate that your heart is in the right place. People across the country already engage in conversations about life's many challenges and controversies as they develop relationships with baristas, clerks, barbers and mechanics across multiple interactions as those interactions lead to a greater feeling of familiarity and friendship. Sometimes it leads to greater understanding and/or tolerance of different points of view. Sometimes it leads to lawsuits (ask the owner of Arlene's flowers), but I for one appreciate the role the free market has in bringing people together in a diverse society and...
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Dear Super-gassed up entrepreneur that has millions in the bank, Forgive my naivete when it comes to starting a startup, for I am a fledgling entrepreneur learning to fly. But I challenge you to DO BETTER. Your past success is a golden ticket to Silicon Valley capital -- capital that the likes of us first time CEOs can only dream of. Please use this power more wisely. Please execute on an idea that provides value. The writings of Paul Graham, Peter Thiel, Vinod Khosla and countless other gurus of the startup world highlight that the best ideas Pay attention to users and solve their pain points So how is it that you are able to get capital even though you aren't doing this? With your next startup product, please solve a real problem in the world. Do we really need...
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Dear Mr. Campbell, On August 31, Vedomosti, one of Russia's leading newspapers, published an article referring to a special study by IDC entitled "Total cost of ownership of IT infrastructure in Russian schools", which had been ordered by Moscow municipal center of information technology and educational equipment (http://www.vedomosti.ru/newspaper/article/244690/idc_sela_za_partu). The article targets the comparison of the total cost of ownership (TCO) of free and non-free software in schools. The conclusions set forward in such a study are of major significance in Russia now, as by the end of the year 2010, all of the 55,000 secondary schools in the country must decide whether to migrate to free software or to purchase Microsoft products and other proprietary software instead....
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Dear Jim at the Oregon Department of Revenue, When I filed my taxes in February last year I just assumed that I would be receiving my refund. When I got a letter that I needed to prove the identity of my five dependent children, I forked over the hundred bucks for birth certificates, without calling you a fucktard like I wanted to because I understood audits happen and am glad to be a citizen of this fine state. When I got the notice that the birth certificates weren’t enough and that our dependents wouldn’t be considered exemptions and we now had a large tax bill, I didn’t send back an envelope full of dog shit because this sort of mix up does happen. I wrote to request an appeal and waited. And waited. And waited. This January you called and assured me it was all a paperwork...
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Dear Job Market, I don’t want to be a designer, a marketer, an illustrator, a brander, a social media consultant, a multi-platform guru, an interface wizard, a writer of copy, a technological assistant, a personal assistant, most any kind of assistant, a data calculator, an aesthetic king, a profit-maximizer, a bottom-line analyzer, a meme generator, a hit tracker, a re-poster, a sponsored blogger, a starred commentator, an online retailer, a viral relayer, a handle, a font or a page. I don’t want to be linked-in, tuned-in, “liked,” incorporated, listed, or programmed. I don’t want to be a brand, a representative, or an ambassador. I don’t want to be your special candidate, your human resource, or a coin in your bank of human capital. I don’t want to be an entrepreneur of myself....
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