Here's a interesting read of Kent Bakke.
"...The chain switched to push-button machines, in part to simplify training for the thousands of new baristas it was hiring each year — a decision Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz later lamented, saying it cost Starbucks the romance and theater that came with La Marzocco machines."
"...The real competition is against the vast market of machines out there with mediocre espresso," he explained. "We're trying to get people to make the choice to improve their product. Our biggest competition is complacency."