Why are Taiwan’s 7-Elevens so much better than ours?

The innovations produced in the pressure cooker of Taiwan’s industrializing economy were shaped by the unique demands of Taiwanese culture at the time, according to Shih-Fen Chen, a business professor at Western Washington University who has conducted extensive case studies of Taiwanese businesses. He sums up the differences between American and Taiwanese 7-Elevens with another aphorism:

“In the U.S. you don’t need 7-Eleven to have a good life,” Chen said. “In Taiwan you cannot have a good life without 7-Eleven.”