One concept I’ve always loved is the idea of utilizing effort that is otherwise lost. By that I mean capturing time and energy that we spend every day, and getting as much value out of it as possible.
Probably best illustrated by example:
Every time you fill out a recaptcha, you’re doing more than proving you’re a human. You are the human cog in “digitizing text, annotating images, building machine learning datasets”. I think this was the first time this concept really hit me.
Duolingo does something similar. By using Duolingo, people are crowdsourcing translations for websites. For Duolingo, it makes for a pretty interesting business model. This is part of the reason why they’re able to provide such a wonderful free service. CNN and Buzzfeed are being translated by you learning Spanish.