1. Paper Route
USA Today became the nation's largest daily newspaper by getting inertia on its side. Twenty-two percent of its average daily circulation of 2.3 million readers comes from getting its paper distributed in hotels.
2. Spend to Save
Wachovia's Way2Save program is a real-world version of Thaler's Save More Tomorrow experiment. With each use of its check card or online bill payment, Wachovia transfers $1 into a savings account that has a 5% annual percentage yield.
3. Prime Time
TNT turned frequent Law & Order reruns into ratings success by making the show virtually inescapable. It then used that audience to launch original programming.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.