Today there is no reason for any kid to be out of work. That's because online markets such as eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon.com provide some of the best hands-on training in the world for anyone who really wants to learn how to grow a business.
My 15-year-old son has discovered eBay and he is now up to 6-to-10 transactions per day. He is starting to seriously reduce the accumulations of stuff in our garage--so much so that he is planning to turn to other sources of merchandise as well.
The great thing, particularly for young people, is that the results are very immediate. They can play online markets almost like they would play a video game: Add a well-crafted appeal or product description to your auction page, and you can take a tepid sales volume and turn it into a torrent.
It has been fun talking to him and coaching him not just when it comes to creating ad copy, but also in sales and in pricing strategy. I think that every high school should consider creating an eBay course to teach students the basics of online marketing.
Who knows from which tiny acorns mighty oak trees will grow? A tiny online business today could grow to a major enterprise over time. The secret to success is gaining the ability to get into your customer's head and solve their problems. That is the skill that my son and other young people like him are learning when they sell things online.
Last updated: Oct 29, 2009
Veteran entrepreneur NOLAN BUSHNELL is the founder Atari, Chuck E. Cheese, Etak, ByVideo, Axlon, and uWink. Among his accomplishments, Bushnell invented Pong, hired Steve Jobs, and developed a series of robots. He lives in California. @NolanBushnell