America's coffeehouse also boasts retail's largest and most popular way to pay via smartphone. The Starbucks app (free) serves as a virtual Starbucks card. Customers put cash on it, the barista scans your phone instead of handling cash or plastic, and folks get through the store faster. Coffee hounds used the app to make 42 million mobile payments through March, with usage growing "week over week, month over month, and quarter over quarter," Adam Brotman says. Most impressively, he did this without a convoluted new technology (cough, MasterCard PayPass, cough) or unproven system (cough, using PayPal in the real world, cough). "We realized we could innovate by just combining some things that were in front of us."
Graduates from University of Washington School of Law; while there, named editor of the Law Review
Raises a $10 million venture capital round to launch entertainment services company PlayNetwork
Launches free Wi-Fi at Starbucks and the Starbucks Digital Network
Launches Starbucks' "Create Jobs for USA" campaign
Promoted to Chief Digital Officer at Starbucks
Infographic by Brian Rea