Morning Advantage: The Taco that Created 15,000 Jobs

Admittedly, I haven't actually experienced one of these culinary wonders. But the Doritos Locos Taco, a faux cheese-caked calorie coffin, is seemingly an innovative job creator. “It has been the biggest launch in Taco Bell history,” said Greg Creed, chief executive officer of Taco Bell, which saw same-store sales rise 8 percent in 2012. “Last year, we added 15,000 people to handle the growth.” You read that right: 15,000 people. The Daily Beast's Daniel Gross talks with Creed, an Australian who once worked at Unilever, to unwrap the company's successful strategy. It includes relying on its relationship with Frito Lay (the maker of Doritos) for a competitive advantage; focusing on the treatment of its employees; and marketing a healthier "Cantina Bell" line to adult consumers. And I'm sure the addictive power of junk food doesn't exactly hurt matters, either.

LET'S HAVE A ROUND

A Brief History of Applause, the 'Big Data' of the Ancient World (The Atlantic)

Can you remember the last time you stood and clapped in appreciation or deference (bonus points if you attended the last State of the Union address)? Now, think about the last time you "Liked" something on Facebook, favored something on Twitter, or participated in a Reddit AMA. Finally, read Megan Garber's fun and incredibly fascinating piece on applause, which brings all of the above together while tracing the history of putting two hands together. She discusses claps as power, claps as freedom, and claps as nuance (and also highlights some of my favorite claps as GIFs). Definitely worth reading in full.

INNOVATION, I AM YOUR FATHER

The Myth of the Lone Inventor (Mental Floss)

There's something dangerous about romanticizing "the idea of a nerdy, bespectacled guy in seclusion, hammering out a problem that others have yet to crack," says Matt Novak. Novak, a Smithsonian blogger and BBC columnist, laid out his views on innovation at a SXSW panel last week, arguing that the legendary Tesla v. Edison battle over the light bulb disregards the fact that collaboration and "everyone taking from everyone else" is often the real parent of invention. So why do we love the isolated genius storyline so much? In part because it's so easy to tell: "[It’s] really good at selling t-shirts, [and] a really good five-minute story squeezed in between TV ads," says Novak. "But it’s a poor understanding of history."

BONUS BITS:

Past, Present, Future

The 1962 CIA Paper that Predicts the Big Deal With Big Data (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Modern Parenthood (Pew Research Center)
Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building (New York Times)

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