I’m a proud father of three boys. All of them are different and they have different interests, personalities and motivations. As you can imagine, they are interested in technology, and as both their parents work in the industry they have access to devices and knowledge that most kids don’t.
A few days ago the one in the middle who is currently 9, told me he had an idea for an app. I asked him to explain it to me and he did with great detail. As we spoke I was asking questions, and he was trying to come up with answers or solutions to them. Questions like how are we going to make money? or who are going to be our users?. After we discussed enough the idea I proposed to print and fill a Lean Canvas. We didn’t have the time to do it at the time and to be honest I thought he would forget about it.
The next day in the morning he begged me to print the canvas before school, that I did. Of course, we didn’t have the time to fill it. When I arrived home from work he made me fill it with him. We answer all the entries in the canvas and when we finished he asked me when were we starting to code it.
The most interesting part of all is that his idea could actually work. It’d need much more work to have a business proposition of course, but the exercise is proving to be stimulating, interesting and it definitively got his attention. He even came out with a cool name, easy to remember and associate to the business he wants to be on.
I believe the world needs more entrepreneurs. I’m wondering if doing this sort of experiments or thinking wouldn’t something we are not teaching and we should. When I was a child, the Internet as we know it didn’t exist, there weren’t mobile phones, starting a new company was unthinkable, etc. Today is almost a different world. I could create a prototype for my son’s idea and have it up and running for months for the price of a nice dinner (providing I can do the coding myself). The prospects of my childhood were to find a nice company you could work for many years. Today the world is again different, and my children will likely have a bunch of works throughout their life (in fact my own career is becoming a bit bumpy).
For a child of today, all the games, apps, etc. can create the feeling that things are easy, they aren’t. There’s a huge lot of work behind the simplest of the games or apps. If nothing else while trying to build a prototype for his idea my kid will learn apps and webs require hard work if I can only get him to learn that it would have been worth it.