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Best of the Web: 16 July 2010
How Yum! Brands is conquering the world; Aging gracefully, the French way; Are your ideas mixing and mating?; Billionaire heiresses; Quit your job and start a web company.
July 16, 2010 11:45 by Samuel Potter
How Yum! Brands is conquering the world
“The Colonel’s army is on the march. Vast swathes of China have fallen under his dominion, and he is making inroads in India and Russia.” No, it’s not a contemporary invasion by Mongols. It is an all-out assault of a kinder, gentler, more fried sort than you might imagine. “It is one of the great American conquests of our time,” Business Week contends – a gastronomic revolution the paper called “the Kentucky Fried Chickenification of the middle classes in the world’s emerging economies.” With 37,000 outlets in 110 countries, Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC, is orchestrating a revolution in American quasi-fast food of unprecedented scale, eclipsing even “that more famous icon of American colonization, McDonald’s.” Learn the trade tricks that helped Yum! Brands conquer China ahead of its rivals.
Aging gracefully, the French way
“If there is a secret to aging well, Frenchwomen must know it. At least that’s what Americans think,” Ann Morrison, of the New York Times supposes. As an American, I can vouch for that.
“Looking attractive, at any age, is just what Frenchwomen do, especially the urban ones,” Morrison explains.”For Parisians, maintaining their image is as natural as tying a perfect scarf or wearing stilettos on cobblestone streets.”
From the outside looking in, French women have that je ne sais quoi – literally “I don’t know what.” Quite a few of the rest of us are keen to get the inside story on just how women like Catherine Deneuve can take your breath away at 66. Clearly, “they must have special insights into the “maturation process,” Morrison contends. If puffy botox lips just aren’t your style, check out the Frenchwomen’s secrets to aging well.
Are your ideas mixing and mating?
Scientists have long known that a wider genetic pool offers more variety to a species, increasing the chances of making it in a hostile world. The idea extends itself to all kinds of parallels. Corporations and universities often have hiring policies that favor new blood, for this very reason – recruiting from within gets stale pretty fast.
For author and blogger Steven Berlin Johnson, the notion can be applied to our own thinking. In order to generate better ideas, we must come up with novel combinations of the same old ideas. “Great ideas often don’t result from a single ‘eureka’ moment,” CNN reports, “but instead come from what Johnson called ‘the slow hunch,’ as they evolve and interact with other ideas.”
The long and winding road of a good idea can see it give birth to related and increasingly useful and diverse other ideas – as long as you keep mixing and mating the old with the new. Johnson traces “the development of GPS technology, starting in the 1950s with efforts by Western scientists to track the Russian Sputnik spacecraft,” CNN says. “And that same GPS technology now can help you find a nearby coffeehouse that will serve you a soy latte, Johnson joked.”
Read how mixing and mating your ideas is the key to creating the next big thing out of yesterday’s news.
In Pictures: Billionaire heiresses to watch
If you’ve got a weakness for beautiful, billionaire heiresses (and truthfully, who doesn’t?), this photo montage was picked with you in mind. But there is more to these women than beauty and billions. Check out Forbes’ list of 2010’s top 10 heiresses, chosen for their success in “creating an impact by living up to their family legacies, making a name for themselves and giving back to society.”
How to quit your job at 26 and start a web company with no money and no tech experience
Tired of the 9-5 grind? Sick of seeing your passion, energy, and creativity serve someone else’s vision? There’s no need to wait for a midlife crisis to break out of those corporate chains and pursue your dreams. This exclusive feature from Business Insider gives you the scoop on how to harness your “passion for entrepreneurship,” risk everything, and start your own web company.