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Rachel Cope, Co-Founder of Lazy Angel (INTERVIEW)

Browser Ad-On that Fights Malnutrition

— January 4, 2012 — Social Good
We featured a social business profile of Lazy Angel last year, and today we're going in for a deep dive with an interview with Rachel Cope, who co-founded the social business with Emile Cueau.

As a recap, Lazy Angel is a non-invasive web browser add-on, which displays ads that benefit malnourished children. Lazy Angel users simply install the add-on, which appears at the bottom of the browser, and the company donates 60% of ad revenues to help supply micronutrients to women and children in need. They say that every hour of browsing -- no ad clicks or purchases necessary -- contributes to seven days of nutrition.

Below are the Rachel's answers to our questions about the origin of Lazy Angel, the business model, and where she finds her inspiration.

4 Questions with Rachel Cope, Co-Founder of Lazy Angel

1. How did the idea for the business model come about?
People are always trying to get more done for less time and money... in their work, their health, and relationships. We wanted to apply this trend to charity, to do more good with less effort. We did this by combining two simple ideas.

The first idea comes from the world's top economists and Nobel Laureates, who ranked the solutions to the world's biggest problems. They ranked "micronutrients for malnourished kids" as the #1 most effective way to help the world.

The second idea comes from Facebook, YouTube, blogs, and mobile apps. These services are free because of online ads.

LazyAngel brings these two ideas together: online advertising funding the world's #1 cause. It's the realization that if someone looked at one extra text ad while they surf, they could make malnourished children healthy without spending any money.

2. How did you decide to join this sector?
We chose the Internet because it reaches the masses, and it's where people spend a lot of their time. We realized that if we had just 5% of Facebook's userbase, we could virtually end child malnutrition. In beta alone, with only 250 beta users, we helped 600 kids in Tecpan, Guatemala. (You can read about the project here.)

3. How do you get your inspiration?
I read a lot, so a lot of inspiration comes from books. Recently...

  • Flow by Csikszentmihalyi (sounds like "chic-sent-me-high"). He writes on using "flow" or focused attention to increase happiness and productivity in work.

  • Please Understand Me by Kersey. About Myers-Briggs personality types. This book has helped me better understand myself and others -- and made me obsessively categorize everyone I know and meet! It naturally carries over into marketing and communications.

  • Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. A 2000-year-old Stoic self-help book on wisdom, simplicity and duty.

4. How do you reset yourself to be creative? Do you have any rituals?
I like Peter De Vries' quote, "I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning."

I'm most creative with a disciplined routine. I aim to...
  • Wake up at 6am, make coffee, and jump into work. Early morning is my most productive time.
  • At 10am, eat breakfast. Then I meditate and exercise, the key to feeling healthy in body, mind and soul.
  • From 12-6pm, back to work. We work in 60-minute, focused, uninterrupted "flows."
  • Around 6pm, I wrap up my day and plan for the next. Then dinner, time with family, friends, reading and crafting.
  • At 10pm, retire for the night (with another evening routine of journaling, gratitude and prayers).

When I work, I aim to work with no distractions and a clear goal in mind. When I log off, I want to be present and re-inspired by the beauty of Colorado and the people that surround me.