‘Shark Tank’ with More Oreos

As a father of three, I’ve had the opportunity to hear kids say some extremely funny, creative, and brilliant things. Recently, my son and I started playing a game that frequently combines all three elements. We don’t have a name for it, but some might think of it as ‘Shark Tank’ with more Oreos. To be fair, a lot of people would simply call it ‘brainstorming.’

Basically, he pitches me business ideas, sometimes very raw, sometimes very well detailed and thought out. As you can imagine, the spectrum of ideas is all over the place, from Minecraft mods and social networking tools for kids to buying and selling bikes.

Once the ideas have been pitched, we talk through them. This can get a bit squirrely at times and the ideas can seem pretty off the wall, but we always talk through them. We go through the why’s, the how’s, and the whatnot’s, which often leads to new ideas and a fresh string of questions.

Some ideas we’ll research on the spot and other times, I put the ball in his court. And it’s great to see him get excited about an idea, dig in, and learn something completely new. Regardless of the outcome, we’ve started putting all the ideas in his ‘Startup’ idea book.

Each time we play the game, it evolves and his understanding of the business world grows. It’s also great to see his younger brother and sister wanting to get involved and starting to pitch ideas of their own, like “What about puppies that don’t poop, dad?”

Moving forward, we’ll be testing some of his ideas, giving him an opportunity to learn more about entrepreneur-ing, and hopefully earning him enough to buy that X-wing Fighter he’s always wanted.

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