pp. Spreading the resources of a company or person too thin.
peanut-butter v.

Example Citations:
Still, a former Google executive observed, "Google could do fewer products and make fewer investments. They are doing too many and peanut-buttering everything."
—Ken Auletta, "Searching for Trouble" (subscription required), The New Yorker, October 12, 2009

There are fewer than 70 days until June 30. We're having trouble envisioning anything more than a slap-dash, spread-too-thin peanut buttering of something for every neighborhood. But let's see. Something good could fall right into place.
—"Seattle Parks: Levy not a lock," The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 24, 2008

Earliest Citation:
Between state policy making and local control lies this nebulous thing that I would call regional reform. I would like to take a look at regional reform in a deep sense for schools and stop peanut-buttering ourselves out, as my mother used to say, into all these little quasi-successful efforts that aren't getting us anywhere.
—"Educating ourselves for a high-tech future," The Seattle Times, December 15, 1995

The use of the telling phrase "as my mother used to say" (see the Earliest Citation, above) makes any neologist tremble because it often means that the term it's referring to is actually quite old, thus making a mockery of the neologist's alleged "earliest" citation.

As a possible hint in that direction, I also found the following citation from 1987, although it seems to be using the phrase peanut-buttering in a positive sense:

Teaming "is a way of 'peanut buttering' the business," said Jerry F. Cantwell, vice president for research at Wertheim Schroder & Co. in New York. "We have seven fighter houses in the country, but not enough business for that many suppliers. So everybody gets a little bit of what's available."
—David C. Morrison, "Up in Arms," The National Journal, July 11, 1987

Related Words: