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The Jelly Drop Kids

25 Jan

It’s official.  We had our first class on Friday and the kids were SO SO excited.  I laid out the curriculum which is basically the 4 Ps of Marketing: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.  We started by naming the Company  and after many bizarre and unusual ideas like “Trainwreck” which I highly cautioned against, they voted and decided on the Jelly Drop Kids.  (Amazingly, the talented Scamper agreed to work on a logo for them so that they are totally official.  yay!)  They got started creating their PRODUCT – coloring book pages, drawn with black marker on white pages.  Their imaginations are truly remarkable.  No just dogs or bunnies.  Fiona (my daughter) drew a bird carrying a fish in the sky.  The water from the fish is dropping down onto a cliff where the water is pooled in a bowl where a coyote drinks the same water.  as he drinks, the water cascades over the cliff down into a river where bears are frolicking.  go figure.  In any case, it should be great.  I have discovered www.lulu.com, where we can upload our book and set up a storefront where people can order, as desired.  lulu.com prints the books on demand and ships them to buyers and we can have the profit flow straight to the school’s Paypal account so that they get all the proceeds.  Well, almost all the proceeds.  The kids argued convincingly that they deserve a great LAUNCH PARTY when its all live.  Let me know if you want me to reserve you tickets!

UPDATE:  We are on Amazon.com.  Oh yeah 🙂

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Can Kids Start a Company? (in 6 Hours Over 6 Weeks)

7 Jan

For the last four years, I have been CEO of a startup on the fast track, which left very little time for extra-curricular parenting efforts.  In fact last year, when Fiona had an assignment to write an essay on something CRAZY that would NEVER happen, she chose to write an essay titled, “the day my mom drove for a field trip.”  yeah.  one of many low moments in the life of a working mom.

So now that my company has been acquired and someone ELSE has the daily stress that is CEO, I vowed to get more involved in the kids’ school.  Just as I made that mental commitment, I received the note in the backpack: “parents needed to teach mini-courses”.  Mini-courses are 6-week classes (1 hour per week) that parents teach on anything they want.  Fiona and Rowan begged me to volunteer.  I could do this.  Maybe?

If there is one thing I know about, its starting and running companies. So let’s see if I can get kids to start one in 6 weeks!  The idea (to make it fun):  The Coloring Book Company.  So I called the office to tell them I’d do a mini-course (see ya in a few weeks) and that’s when they told me I had to be prepared to PITCH.  huh?

I have pitched the world’s premier VCs when the stakes were as high as they could be.  I have spoken to audiences of hundreds of CEOs and CMOs.  But pitching to elementary school kids and asking them to pick my mini-course?  I WAS TERRIFIED.  Sam thought it was adorable (great).

I was told that other parents dressed in costumes and gave out candy to have kids pick them.  Low blow. I couldn’t go there.  That’s just not me.  So I went the challenge angle:

“I started a company and I LOVE running a company.  But, you know what?  I’m around a lot of grown ups and grown-ups say that kids can’t start companies!” (thank god they got it right away and jumped up, booing and screaming and revolting).  “Grown-ups say kids aren’t creative enough to come up with new ideas!”  (more boos and screams).  “Grown-ups say kids don’t work hard enough to do what it takes to start a company” (now the Principal has to calm them down and ask them to get back in their seats).  “I say you can start a company and I need some smart kids to help me prove it!”

My course was over-subscribed and lots of kids were turned away.  We start day 1 of the Coloring Book company next Friday!  It should be fun.  I will chronicle the adventure here.