Why is working at Starbucks positive to people’s creativity?
This blog post is the result of intense personal field research. And I, of course, wonder if I’m the only writer who has made the same experiences.
When I go to Starbucks (which isn’t ever too often, because I think their coffee and the food is significantly overpriced) I see young students, older students, graphic designers, painters, drawers, fashion designers, readers and, of course, writers.
I talked to quite some of them and very often got the same answer to my question: aren’t you disturbed or bothered by the sound of the coffee machines, the voices, the distraction, the noise? – No, in fact, at every other place all the background sound bothers me, but not at Starbucks.
While writing this blog post, I, in fact, am sitting in Nashville-Green Hills Mall Starbucks and watching people carefully. Next to me on the table is a Venti Mocha Frappuccino (with Whipped Cream of course) and I’m sipping my way through this blog post.
On my left, just by the wall, there’s a young man, designing T-Shirts. On my left, there’s a young girl, maybe close to twenty, seemingly to get homework done. (Maybe she’s, in fact, chatting with her boyfriend, I can’t tell for sure, but her smile tells me a lot) It is 12:10 pm and there aren’t many people, but it seems everyone in here is either reading or typing, and I’m having tons of fun watching people…
As much fun as this all seems it doesn’t necessarily satisfy my curiosity: Why do people seem to be so creative at Starbucks? Is it the easy access to excellent (unusual) coffee? Is it the feeling to share this creativity with others, being as hard to distract by noise? (Unless it’s the screaming and crying of pretty annoying little children) If misbehaved kids are cruising around, it seems quite obvious: they are an unwelcome distraction and many of the Starbucks at home- creative artists will pack up and disappear. Or, and that’s part of what makes me think: can it be that Creativity is contagious? Do people feel creativity, or catch a wave of creativity and surf on it?
I’m not even sure I can do that. With me, either creativity is on, or off, but I cannot “find a wave” of it and ride on it. Maybe others can.
Do I feel more creative at Starbucks? Sometimes I am. (As can easily be seen by this blog post) But there are other days, I need to leave. It strongly depends on my mood. But I also have to admit: Most of the time I am quite creative at Starbucks, probably because I’ve hardly ever got time to sit down and get some writing done in a Starbucks. Unless it was for creative’s sake, like in this particular blog post related field research.
Talking about this particular research: It has cost me around $40 to properly and carefully watch people at different Starbucks spots and give out a result I can stand behind after my best knowledge and belief.
Besides: Their Mocha Frappuccino is just a drink for Gods. (Which makes me ask myself why I do get chocolate decoration onto the whipped cream when ordering one in California, but not when I have one in Nashville – or New York? But that’s of course only a detail.)
Now, please help me out: are you particularly creative at Starbucks? And if yes, have you ever found out why that is? Are there other places you are unusually creative at? Thanks for letting us know.
(written, January 5, 2016, Mall at Green Hills, Nashville, Tennessee – Aurora Jean Alexander)