1. Meetup communities
The devastating events of 9/11 shocked the world and saw many residents of New York City band together in their shared grief.
Noting this unusually neighborly behavior in the wake of the attacks, Scott Heiferman was inspired to create a platform that would help people build communities.
That’s how, he says, he conceived one of the first social networks, Meetup. The app has since accumulated more than 35 million users by enabling them to connect and organize events based on their shared interests.
“Who gives a shit if you innovated?” he says of the move. “All that matters is that you’re helping people.”
2. Travel routes following London’s train strike
In 2014, a strike of employees across the London Underground forced commuters to find alternative routes to work. And in the end, many were better off.
After studying anonymized travel card data, academics from Oxford & Cambridge University discovered that 5% of Londoners didn’t switch back to their original route when the strikes were over.
In being forced to explore alternative directions that they would not have been triggered to try before, the strike actually ended up producing a net economic benefit.