Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Free is the water we love to swim in.
The minute we hear the word, we feel a certain joy that we're alive, a certain belief that today our luck is in.
No, it doesn't always matter if it's something we actually want. We just like the idea of something for nothing.
Starbucks understands this. So for a whole week, it's giving you something it thinks you might desperately need. If you have a friend, that is.
In many parts of America, it's currently hotter than a despot's temper. So to cool you down, Seattle's famous coffee chain has iced coffees galore.
For this week only, however, Starbucks has instituted a "buy one, get one free" idea. It's calling it the BOGO.
If you buy a grande iced espresso concoction between June 27 and July 2, you can get another one of equal or lesser value absolutely gratis.
I can feel your gratitude instantly ooze.
I insist, however, that you re-engage your rational faculties. Because there is, of course, a catch.
You can only receive this marvelous gift if you waft into a participating Starbucks between 2 p.m and 5 p.m.
These free offers are so cynical, aren't they?
Store traffic dips in the afternoon. Of course it does. People are back at work, or already escaping to a prone position on their sofa at home.
Starbucks needs to drum up a little business, so it thinks it can entice you to stay awake in the afternoon, cool down and impress a friend with your spontaneous generosity.
Who's going to be taken in by that?
Oh, surely someone will.