“General Tso’s Chicken has become a staple of American dining; a dish that, were it not for pizza, could be crowned the most popular ethnic food item in the country. And it’s a total cash cow. The dish is carried in most of the 50,000 Chinese restaurants in the United States, produced very cheaply, and sold for about $10 a pop, resulting in billions of dollars in tasty revenue.”—
Some notable history in this fascinating article: Apparently the Chinese food industry was first borne of the Chinese Exclusion Act, an infamous 19th century anti-immigration law which forced many Chinese immigrants out of the labor force. Self-employment became a necessity, and immigrants moved away from the West Coast partly to avoid persecution.
“I enjoy controlled loneliness. I like wandering around the city alone. I’m not afraid of coming back to an empty flat and lying down in an empty bed. I’m afraid of having no one to miss, of having no one to love.”—Kuba Wojewodzki, Polish journalist and comedian (via themeanbetweenextremes)
Failure comes part and parcel with invention. It’s not optional. We understand that and believe in failing early and iterating until we get it right. When this process works, it means our failures are relatively small in size (most experiments can start small), and when we hit on something that is really working for customers, we double-down on it with hopes to turn it into an even bigger success. However, it’s not always as clean as that. Inventing is messy, and over time, it’s certain that we’ll fail at some big bets too.
“I think if Dickens was alive today, he’d have been working for the BBC, until HBO offered him much more money.”—Roddy Doyle discusses television and his short story in this week’s issue of the magazine: http://nyr.kr/1mUhHxZ (via newyorker)