1 min read

A big one.

“There are many causes for the overlapping dysfunctions that make contemporary American life feel so dystopian, but loneliness is a big one.”


“People just want to belong.”

When I was much younger, I worked with a guy named Fred. Fred wasn’t his real name.

It was Fuad.

He was Egyptian and was an amazing and successful owner of a few coffee shops in the SF Bay Area.

One of our plans was to introduce coffee cards. Like the ones where you buy ten coffees and get the eleventh for free.

It was a time when a growing Seattle-based coffee company began serving coffee in our backyard. We were looking for different ways to ensure our coffee remained in demand.

In this case, we were trying to lock in our ‘regulars’. Those folks who would line up at 5:00 AM to be the first to taste our fresh coffee once we opened our doors thirty minutes later.

At the time I didn’t understand why a card would help us retain our customers. We were a booming business, with patrons lined up in never-ending lines for our coffee and delectables.

As a stubborn introvert I didn’t see the need for a coffee card to keep bringing people back.

If our product was good enough people would be back And they’d tell their friends.

Little did I know our coffee company would boom again.

This time partly due to competition and partly due to people wanting to belong to something.