The internet is a great learning tool and you can really find some great information out there. I was reading through posts on the Re-Imagine discussion boards and came across one that was posted by a Paul Hanson:
The Economist had a wonderful article on the history of coffee shops a few weeks ago. In the 18th and 19th centuries they were amazing places. Many shops became known for the types of customers who visited. i.e. the subject of discussion was different in each shop. One shop was known for scientific arguments (in one case demonstrating dissections - not sure about health and safety here!) another become so well known for hosting insurance deals that it became Lloyds of London one of the largest insurance organizations in the world. In other words the coffee shops were the information hubs of the day the proprietors often published their own newsletters for customers - they were more than coffee shops. In fact the shop names (brands) were so well known that one newspaper named it's subject headings after the coffee shops that specialized in that subject.
I was completely fascinated by this posting and, as someone who talks about Starbuck's all the time, I hopped online, went to Vivisimo.com and decided to check out his posting. Sure enough, it's true. Lloyd of London really did start in a coffee shop.
I wonder what great businesses are being started in Starbuck's or other coffeehouses today? Are there other places that could become this kind of information hub? In today’s information overload world, think of how powerful it could be! Lloyds of London ne Lloyds Coffee House