Business, Politics & Society

Cannibalize Yourself

Howard Schultz

Lesson time 07:17 min

Howard shares ways to stay ahead of the competition by cannibalizing your core business.

Howard Schultz
Business Leadership
Former Starbucks CEO shares lessons from nearly 40 years of leading one of the world’s top brands.
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Build a Business That Lasts

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz rose from a childhood in public housing to leading a company that revolutionized the way the world drinks coffee. With no formal business education, he relied on his values while growing a 13-store chain into a global brand with more than 250,000 employees. In his 90-minute video series, Howard shares what he’s learned about business leadership and being an entrepreneur.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Great stories, good tips but needs some practical lessons.

Great, want more business leaders like that on Masterclass!!

First of all, Watch it again. Everytime you catch something new. For sure not bring our competetion to the decision room. Get the right people for the job.

This class is filled with bits of wisdom that anyone will find useful regardless of their field of business or position within the company.



Howard is obviously a world class entrepreneur with great insights but again more anecdotes specific to and unrelated to Starbucks for even greater learning.

Ian S.

Brilliant. Really needed to hear this. I have a tendency to grow too quickly. Thank you Mr Schultz

Kimberly M.

Huge believer in not following competition or letting them effect your strategy! So glad Howard addressed. Too many organizations focus too strongly on that.

RJane @.

Amazon is a disrupter of online shopping. It is 10 steps ahead of eBay, which is struggling to compete.

David H.

This was a bit light touch. While enjoying Howard very much as a leadership speaker, I would like some materials or worksheets or examples to add texture to the high level advice.

Jack S.

I was beginning to get distracted because I was confused by how a competitor could cannibalize your company, because that isn't my understanding of the usage of "cannibalize" in this context... but then Howard pivoted to one of the biggest takeaways for me thus far... the notion of "art" of innovating in ways that are "threaded within the guardrails of the equity of the brand". It's an idea that should be self-evident, but one that is also easily to ignore when exciting opportunities arise.

Tara Jade B.

I totally get why disrupting your own business is a key to stay in the very front, pushing the envelope, but - I can also imagine that it is extremely frightening. You've built something, you created something, something that your clients want, so finding a way to disrupt, yet still remain faithful to your clients, and your employees, is not piece of cake. Would love to hear more about it, also getting examples from his own company, would be useful...

Junaid M.

Most want to disrupt, but don't want to be disrupted. Being disrupted makes one a better disrupter!


"Invent yourself and then reinvent yourself, change your tone and shape so often that they can never categorize you." - Charles Bukowski

A fellow student

Run your company, don't try to run your competitor's company. You can only control what you can control. Love the statement of not letting your competitors in the room when you make a ​strategy.