Security for online submissions had a simple solution. Force the entry of characters that ONLY humans can read. Otherwise, a robocall (of sorts) could just fill up a database with corrupt data. Captcha was born. In fact, the programer that came up with the idea retired ... for one day. He thought about the numbers of people that were doing a 10 second task when putting in the captcha code was a total waste. But, what if that could be turned into a contribution instead. In short order a way to use these tiny steps of entering a few letters or digits on hundreds of millions of keyboards, hundreds of millions of times each day because a free labor force that could transcribe books and put in number addresses for Google maps and is moving toward translating the entire content of the internet into all the major languages, one keystroke at a time by millions of people ... for free. So, when you put in the captcha code, you are working and making a contribution to transcribing a classic book or a Google Streets image into a keyed address number. Amazing.
How can this apply to us? Think about it. Henry Ford would be so proud. He once said that he could train almost anyone to build almost anything because he broke each task into simple repeatable steps that were fully prescribed and measured for completion. What efforts are being made around you and wasted?
How does this apply to me? Harvesting all the wasted effort can yield huge rewards. Little things add up. Look at what we do each day. We should ONLY do each thing once and be build something ... probably a database ... in the process. I need to revisit, well, everything I do with the focus of building something useful with lasting value.