--As told to Scott Leibs.
Your vision for great products and a sense of mission are what drive you to start a company, but when you run a business sometimes you get away from your roots. I'm asking our leadership team to concentrate more on day-to-day operations. This way, I can get new things out now, not in six months. I feed off the new, and changing our company structure will let me do much more of that. I want to focus on the soul of the products. The business case comes later.
Freedom is my special sauce. It enables me to grow the company artfully. So my priority is developing "Lab Katrina Markoff," a new in-house R&D program. We're using it to roll out new products to our stores every two weeks. Some people say that's dangerous, because we’re constantly fine-tuning recipes and customers may get a different version each time, but I really like the open R&D approach. We're developing a new drink that taps into the superfood aspect of cacao, and we're really excited about the chance to shift people from coffee to a cacao drink that can be served hot or cold. Starbucks should be worried!