I am often asked for information about what the decentralized asset ledger at the heart of bitcoin actually means.
For a non-technical person trying to get a general sense of the broader opportunity that the tech world sees in bitcoin, reading the following would be a good start. You would get the general gist in about 30 minutes.
Good context setting if you read the quick 4 part blog series. http://www.circle.com/2013/10/30/circle-bitcoin-global-digital-currency/
By Jeremy Allaire (formerly CEO Brightcove, Macromedia)
Bitcoin as a Platform/Protocol
By Albert Wenger (partner, Union Square Ventures)
By Naval Ravikant (Founder, Angellist)
Excellent Description of "Mining"
http://qz.com/154877/by-reading-this-page-you-are-mining-bitcoins/Applications of Bitcoin
About as clear and non-technical as it can be made. I love the characterization of mining as competitive bookkeeping.
Broader Applications of BTC
Interview with Richard Brown (executive architect, IBM)