Fried dough with sugar; who does it better? The hedgehog does.

I grew up on Long Island.   We had Dunkin’ Donuts.  I have fond memories of my Mom bringing home a dozen donuts or stopping by for a quick Boston Creme before we got on the train.  It was good.

Dunkin Donuts makes the best donuts and coffee on the planet.

Dunkin Donuts makes the best donuts and coffee on the planet.


Dunkin Donuts makes sandwiches.  Shitty ones.  Dunkin Donuts makes…well, they have ice cream stores attached to them now.  They make all kinds of garbage.  Check out the front page of their website:

They lost their brand.

What if, for the last several years, they just refined and built on to the fact that they make the best coffee and donuts on the planet?  Whether or not its true doesn’t matter; it can be true.

What if for the past several years they concentrated on just coffee and donuts, that perfect combo and left the rest to fast food joints or other, lesser establishments?

The Dunkin Donuts brand would be a lot better off.  Maybe they would make less money in the short term, but in the long term, they could forever seal their fate as the best coffee and donuts on the planet.

I walk into Starbucks and ask the bubbly chick what she does and she says she is a barrista.  She makes coffee, oh yeah, they have some other stuff too.

When I walk into Dunkin Donuts the dude isn’t sure what he does, he makes ice cream sundaes, terrible sandwiches, some  ice cream cakes, breakfast burritos and oh yeah, donuts too.

It’s sad really.

It all goes back to the hedgehog concept.  To be truly successful, you should:

1.  Determine where your passion is.

2.  Determine what you CAN be the best at.

3.  Determine what drives your profit engine.

Jim Collins, author of the Good to Great series describes it in video here:

The Hedgehog Concept

You can apply this anywhere.  Apply it to your life.  Apply it to your office.  There is something that you are passionate about, something that you can be the best at, and maybe it will even pay the bills…if not, maybe it should.  Whatever you choose should not be breakfast burritos, though.


  • I think Jonathan Ive said it best in a recent interview: “If we can’t make something that’s better, we don’t do it.” (paraphrased). That being said, I’m a Dunkin fanboy, because of the donuts and the coffee. Do the sandwiches hurt my fanboyishness? No. To me, the brand remains intact.

  • I guess the question really is, when did you become a fanboy? Before or after the demise of the brand? The brand may seem intact to you, fanboy, but what do future fanboys think? Do they see Dunkin as a coffee and donut place or will they be confused?

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