pp. Spreading the resources of a company or person too thin.
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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,” 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
1995 (earliest)
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
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