Kirkland’s Shareware Coffeehouse. Order what you want, pay whatever you like.


This social and economic cafe experiment by a Seattle Googler is fascinating, especially because it’s actual appears to be working so far to generate enough to keep the business going.  There are no prices and people’s contributions are not monitored.   Thus even the normal social pressure you’d have with, for example, a church collection plate are largely absent here in the Kirkland Cafe.

I’m totally skeptical of this model as a scalable type of business, but it’s sure interesting.   Burning man sensibilities come to mind.

About JoeDuck

Internet Travel Guy, Father of 2, small town Oregon life. BS Botany from UW Madison Wisconsin, MS Social Sciences from Southern Oregon. Top interests outside of my family's well being are: Internet Technology, Online Travel, Globalization, China, Table Tennis, Real Estate, The Singularity.
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5 Responses to Kirkland’s Shareware Coffeehouse. Order what you want, pay whatever you like.

  1. Fools Gold says:

    Well, back in the days of the Free Store in the East Village some thieves broke in at night and stole that which they could have had for free if the store had been open. So I guess there is no limit to stupid theivery but most people are honest and probably pay about what other coffee shops they frequent would charge. I know one coffee shop that made ALL SIZES the same price so as to cut down decision time. People still take whatever size they are in the mood for rather than the largest size.
    Business model? Probably not.

  2. glenn says:

    I am really hoping somebody tries this concept with an ATM…now that would be worth trying out!

    🙂

  3. JoeDuck says:

    Hey Glenn, I promise to pay at LEAST 19.50 for every 20.00 I take out!

  4. Fools Gold says:

    When one airport provided change machines that gave 95 cents change for a dollar bill, a competitor announced their change machines would give $1.05 for every dollar bill inserted into them. The publicity was good. I’m sure some time and money is saved at the coffeeshop by not having lines form as a cashier tallys up each order. The shorter lines probably attracts more customers than might otherwise patronize the place so a few ‘cheaters’ can still be no problem to the coffeeshop at all.

  5. Maggie says:

    This is my kind of coffee shop, and I’d love to think that it just might actually work. How cool. It would be interesting to know how it turns out.

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