How Taco Bell Utilizes Business Strategies Developed by Silicon Valley
Taco Bell's hugely successful Doritos Locos Tacos helped reinvent the company and fend off external disruptors in the marketplace. Alexis C. Madrigal of The Atlantic has penned an article that offers a fascinating glimpse into how Taco Bell adopted innovative business strategies originally started in Silicon Valley.
What's the Latest?
(For those unfamiliar with the concept: Christensen's theory describes how smaller companies peddling seemingly less favorable products upend bigger, more stagnant companies in a competitive marketplace. Thus, the former disrupts the latter. One could argue that Uber disrupts the taxi industry and Airbnb disrupts the hotel industry.)
Madrigal presents the two sides of the debate in a way that's both informative and fair. Then, he decides to explore Christensen's theory, which was developed during the 90's tech boom, through the lens of a company you may not expect: fast-food giant (and "fourth meal" innovators) Taco Bell.
What's the Big Idea?
Madrigal is amazed to find that Taco Bell's product people speak in the same vernacular as Silicon Valley types:
But what's really absurd about this is how precisely they've aped the language that technical companies use to describe what they've done. They are discussing, in essence, a concept taco. There are mock-ups. For an ingestible food item!
Of course, that all depends on whether you consider the Doritos Locos Taco ingestible.
Madrigal's above quote does refer to the way the Taco Bell folks spoke about the initial plans for the amazingly successful taco made with a Doritos shell. He also notes that the company's food innovation team were able to fend off external disruption by disrupting themselves. Taco Bell actually employs a resident disruptor named Jeff Jenkins whose job is to figure out how to help the company reinvent itself and avoid external disruptors.
Madrigal's article as a whole offers a fascinating glimpse into how the business innovations of Silicon Valley translate across industries.
The below video features Jenkins explaining his work to an interviewer from his alma mater, the University of Virginia.
Keep reading at The Atlantic
Photo credit: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.