By 2007 Starbucks had begun to fail itself. Obsessed with growth, we took our eye off operations and became distracted from the core of our business. No single bad decision or tactic or person was to blame. The damage was slow and quiet, incremental, like a single loose thread that unravels a sweater inch by inch. Decision by decision, store by store, customer by customer, Starbucks was losing some of the signature traits it had been founded on. Worse, our company’s self-induced problems were being compounded by external circumstances as the world went through unprecedented change on several fronts.