Eight-year-old Joey Hudicka's parents always knew he had a bit of the entrepreneur in him. He once tried to sell them seashells on a family vacation. But they never would have guessed he would create a going software venture before he reached the third grade.
With some encouragement (OK, and several thousand dollars) from his parents, Joey created an iPhone game he named Puckz, a combination of hockey and checkers. He hired a firm in India to develop the software and oversaw every detail of the game's design from his Flemington, New Jersey, bedroom.
Kids like Joey may soon be making their marks all over the App Store, says Larry Rosen, author of Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn. "This is the first generation that has grown up with ubiquitous anytime, anywhere technology," he says. "Anything they can think of should be doable."
Puckz hasn't exactly been a bestseller since it debuted in March. "At first, I didn't even know it launched," says Joey. "I searched hockey games, and it was all the way at the bottom, which stunk." But the game has started to catch on via Facebook, selling about 800 downloads at 99 cents a pop. His second app, Goalz, a soccer version of the game, has sold about 100 downloads. Says Joseph Hudicka Sr., Joey's father: "This is the modern-day lemonade stand."