My son Nicholas had a special project for school that seemed extra interesting to me. They were covering the basics of business, which I thought was very cool for nine-year olds to learn. Each student had to come up with a unique product and/or service to pitch to their fellow classmates. They had a dollar limit on how much to spend and had to document exactly how much they spent and had to come up with pricing. They then had to learn how to determine how much profit they would earn by applying the formula of income generated subtracted by the amount they’d spent on manufacturing their product or service. I found it quite fascinating to hear my gameboy, soccer playing boy talking about business and revenue streams.
The EGGcelent Idea
Nicholas showed me his cute idea of The EggFamily which was simply leftover plastic Easter eggs that he had colored and decorated into different funny looking characters including pet eggs. He said he thought his friends would love it because they were into collecting funny looking things like Pokemon. I thought that was rather clever but what he said next blew me away. “Dad, I was thinking, wouldn’t it be cool if I had a website for anyone who bought an egg family?” I looked at the wife who was just smiling and shaking her head no as if to answer my silent question of “Did you give him the idea?” I asked him why he thought a website would be cool. “Well, we all like going to that Webkinz website. Why not one for the egg family members?” I scratched my head and chuckled, thinking “That’s my boy, all right”. He added, “I could charge them each $5 a month for a basic account which will mean $60 a year!” I had to stop my prepubescent Donald Trump in his tracks before he got too carried away. “Woah…woah…woah. Why would they pay $5 a month? What’s going to be on this website?” He stopped calculating his windfall long enough to reply “We can add a live chat room so we can all send messages like we do on Club Penguin.” I interrupted again, “WE?” He gave me that infamous devilish grin and I knew I was toast, “Uh, hello, Dad…what do you do for a living? mr. Computer man!”
So, off we went to build his social network for egg family members and their owners. All I did was launch a free wiki and let him do most of the work. He painstakingly worked on all the graphics, using a paint program to design the logo and image of an egg family. He came up with all the corny but cute slogans like “We’ll Crack You UP!” It was a wonderful experience watching your child use their mind and creativity and I enjoyed the time we spent together on this project. Best of all, it was all his idea and he was so proud.
The Big Pay Off
Nicholas brought his eggsamples (sorry, see where he gets it from?) to school and gave his presentation to the class. Needless to say it was a big hit. Everyone wanted to own an egg family along with the website membership with live chat room. Nicholas told me that he laughed as his classmates were literally throwing their play money at him as they stormed to sign up for their very own egg family. He gave them all the website address and later that evening several of them started appearing in the EggChat room where they had a good time.
I hate to sound like an old fart but I find it so amazing that kids today can be so entrepreneurial so young. I think it’s incredible how tech savvy they all are too. I started all three of my children on computers at around two years of age so that doesn’t shock me as much as it should. I’m filled with wonder and hope for the future every time I try to teach my children something because ultimately I’m the one who learns the most from the experience.
Follow Paisano on Twitter here