reCAPTCHA and Duolingo: Luis von Ahn
Listen now
Description
In 2000, Luis von Ahn was starting his PhD in computer science when he attended a talk and happened to learn about one of Yahoo's biggest problems: automated bots were signing up for millions of free Yahoo email accounts, and generating tons of spam. Luis' idea to solve this problem became CAPTCHA, the squiggly letters we type into a website to prove we're human. He gave away that idea for free, but years later, that same idea had evolved into a new way to monetize language learning on the web, and became Duolingo. Today, the popular app is valued at $1.5 billion, and is seeing a big spike in growth while people are confined to their homes.
More Episodes
In the late 2000s, Payal Kadakia was working a corporate job and running an Indian dance company on the side. When a search for a ballet class yielded a confusing jumble of computer tabs, she had an idea: create the Open Table of the fitness industry – a search engine where users could sign up...
Published 06/29/20
This week, the online design platform Canva closed a new round of funding, bringing the company's valuation to $6 billion. Founder Melanie Perkins is also focused on helping her employees work from home, while supporting more than 30 million users worldwide. Also: Spindrift can't sell its...
Published 06/27/20
Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick talks to Guy about how the protests for racial justice have resonated with him personally, and how this moment can spark meaningful change for African Americans — in the world of business and beyond. These conversations are excerpts from our How I Built...
Published 06/25/20