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I Am Convinced This Is Either Senior Living's Goose That Laid the Golden Egg . . . or Its Worst Nightmare

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By Steve Moran

Briggo is a company you have likely never heard of yet. Its people have invented a humanless machine that can make 100 cups per hour of perfect gourmet coffee. A feat that would take 3 or 4 skilled baristas to accomplish by hand.

I don’t do lines very well, so I won’t stand in line for 20 or 30 minutes at the airport to get my early morning coffee fix. I will either wait to get my first cup on the airplane or get the cheap stuff from McDonald's. Yet, there are lots of people who are willing to spend that 20 or 30 minutes in line waiting for their favorite Starbucks drink.

But . . .

What would happen if they could go online, order that same favorite caffeine fix on an app for a lower cost, and only stand in line 5 minutes? Would the 30- to 90-second human interaction make it worth waiting an extra 20 minutes? I am thinking for most the answer is no.

It Is Pretty Remarkable

Right now, Starbucks is king and queen of the coffee experience and it is hard to imagine they could ever be displaced, but really, do you actually have a relationship with your barista? My guess is that for a few of you the answer is yes but, for most, no. And if we are honest, even at Starbucks the team sometimes screws up an order. A machine would get it right every single time, the perfect way you want it.

Maybe Starbucks does not have the lock you might think they do.

Or . . .

If Starbucks is the pivot organization they have traditionally been, maybe they will replace half to three-quarters of their staff with a machine like this and reduce their staffing costs. This would be, perhaps, an amazing pivot for them, reducing cost, increasing quality, and still allowing them to create the Starbucks experience customers have come to expect.

Are You Nuts? This is Coffee, Not Senior Living!

True enough, but there are two -- possibly even three -- key lessons here:

  1. If we start to see widespread adoption of technology that replaces humans in frontline jobs, this could be a huge blessing to senior living providers freeing up workers for our industry. I believe this is a real possibility and could blunt the impending staffing shortage.

  2. We are ripe for major disruption. I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell you what our Briggo threat is, but I have no idea. However, there is something and we will then have the opportunity to embrace it or reject it.

    Embracing it will mean being even more success; rejecting it will mean suffering the consequences.

  1. There is actually a third possibility and that is to use someone else's pivot or disruption to create our own pivot or disruption that is even better.

I can hardly wait to see how we will evolve; after all, I am a total optimist.

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