I remember when I was a kid. Slaving away, mowing five neighborhood lawns a week to make my own money so I could buy what I wanted to buy. I thought of everything I wanted to buy in terms of “How many lawns do I have to mow to get this?” This mental math instilled the value of a dollar in me. Think of the sweat-equity that you have to put into earning money and quickly you figure out what things are really worth to you. My dad always said “Think Stingy“. So, I typically saved my money for things I really believed in. Like the $2000 computer kit I bought when PCs were first invented. That is roughly 200 lawns to mow! My dad thought I was crazy. He never anticipated that a slow, text only green-screened digital PC would make it in an analog world. He also thought it was crazy to learn all of the BIOS interrupt service routines of the IBM PC and to write programs in Assembler. I can see his point of view now that I look back over the
years past. It was crazy…but it was something that I believed in. And you know what? My dad and mom
always help support everything I ventured into…even if they didn’t 100% believe it was going somewhere.
After all these years, the act of learning the hardware and software languages for the PC has lead to a rather fruitful career developing software.
So, why do I tell this story?
Look at your own kids.
If they have a passion, support it, encourage it, and help them achieve their passion.
After all, it may turn into their career one day. Let me tell you another story. A modern story of my son and his passion. Zackary has always loved computers. Like most kids, he started loving computers by playing games. He really got hooked into flight Simulators. Not just flying around, he wanted to own and operate a virtual airline. So, he did a lot of research and with a little of my help on the Linux side, we opened SandiAir virtual airline! We hosted this airline on a small PC that normally records TV shows for us (check out http://www.mythtv.org). The virtual airline business was quite a frustrating, yet rewarding technical achievement as so many hackers tried to penetrate our machine from every possible angle. When TV show playback got sluggish and the airline kept growing, we decided to move to a dedicated computer in our house. This worked well, for a few months, until the Internet connection started to get bogged down. We had out-grown our home network. And the flight simulator server software got so bloated that it was going to take multiple machines to support the airline.
So, Zack quickly realized that this wasn’t going to work very well. He was spending money and the airline didn’t really have any avenue to recoup the costs of operating. With the introduction of Minecraft, he headed down the path of hosting his own role-playing game (RPG) using Minecraft. Minecraft was a bit easier to host and it didn’t require quite the server load. His RPG world got quite large. But, he quickly got frustrated with the ever-changing API of Minecraft coupled with the inability to make money. So, he started looking for something else. Zackary and Tony (Tony -from Illinois- is a good friend of Zackary’s that he met during the virtual airline days) started digging into Web Hosting providers and he found one that actually allowed him to sell hosting services to people that he knew.
What are “hosting services”?
If you ever needed a web site, this is the company that keeps your actual content (files) so everyone else can access it from the Internet. At first glance, I didn’t see much profit in this business based on the low rates that Zackary was charging customers compared to what he was paying to be a reseller of hosting. As a matter of fact, I thought he was crazy and was losing money every month. But, that wasn’t the case. Zackary was a reseller (the middle man) and he added services on top of the reseller money he was making. Services like designing a web site for each customer, helping customers that needed a logo for the web site, etc. He was actually making money. Then, one day, they got a call from a businessman that wanted to buy the company. They got offered $30,000 for the name and the company. The next day, he called back and raised it to $45,000. This completely blew me away. A domain that I bought as a joke ( http://www.snaju.com ) and some hard work by some enterprising teens had become a viable business.
How many enterprising teens like Zackary and Tony get offered $45K for their business? Wow. Zackary decided not to sell it. After all, he found his passion, running and operating a successful company. Now it is full steam ahead, Snaju has a server in a major data center. No more being a reseller of hosting. Snaju is the host. Now, these guys are focused on restructuring the problems they see with the reseller hosting space. Snaju wants to provide teens with a way to make more money by being a reseller that
charges almost half of the normal monthly fee. What does this mean to you? If you have an enterprising teen with aspirations of business, you should give them the greatest birthday or Christmas gift of all:
1 year of reseller hosting is only a little more that $100. This gives your enterprising teen the ability to leverage off of the sweat and hard work of Snaju to make money, learn about business and enjoy satisfied customers.