This Could Be Fun for Kids and Parents

30 Aug

This could lead to interesting family discussions about all sorts of topics. An app from TD Ameritrade called Snapstock let’s you scan the bar codes on products and then learn about the brand’s parent company and it’s finances.  They have a really cool ad for it on their website. Here are some screenshots.

 

 

Big Day for Zibkids… Nice Writeup in DailyWorth

30 May

Waaaaay Cool. Sir Richard Branson Has Advice for Zibkids Entrepreneurs

8 Mar

Actually, I Think It’s Easer To Be A Dog :-) … But Seriously This is a Post About Trust, Hard News, Leadership and the Power of Kids

3 Jan

Coco, entrepreneur Martin Varsavsky‘s pet, living the dog’s life
 
 

Where I Respond to Dorian
Dorian’s goal for us as a team (Dorian, Autumn and me) is to have him write about building a business from a ten-year-old’s perspective — and for Autumn and me to respond. This week it’s my turn.

A couple of weeks ago on this blog, Dorian asked whether it’s easier to be a kid or an adult?

My take: I think its easier to be a dog :-) When have you ever heard the expression ‘it’s a kid’s life” or “it’s a grown-up’s life”? But since — in this life at least — we don’t exactly have a choice of being a cute pup or a big shaggy dog, I would agree with Dorian that it is easier to be a kid. This assumes, of course, you are a kid with a few people who love and support you hanging about.

I was most captured by Dorian’s writing about leadership though. That’s what I’d like to respond to most of all.

Zibkids Was Almost Dead
I will start by saying that a few months ago Zibkids was about to die as a business. And I was the one suffocating it. By not really trusting Dorian (the kid) to lead — and by not having any time myself to lead (because life as a grownup is often too full), the business was just sitting there.

And a startup just sitting there is a startup dying.

Then something happened. I said to Dorian that I didn’t think it made sense to keep Zibkids going. That it was costing us money every month to run the server and pay the e-commerce platform fees. And mostly it was costing me a lot of mental energy being guilty about not leading Zibkids forward. And to top it all off — we weren’t getting a lot of feedback on how people were using the site. Not that we were seeking any feedback, mind you.

Dorian got a look on his face that would pain any dad. And my heartstrings started tying my brains in a knot. And then I did what I always did with Zikbids at the time: I ignored it.  My day-job was calling and calling loudly.

Kid Power is Real Power!
But Dorian didn’t ignore Zibkids. Something changed in him. He started to make things happen with Zibkids. He became the true leader. And whenever he expended energy on Zibkids I would find a way to help him. He wanted better web analytics. He got it. He wanted feedback from users to find out how they use Zibkids. He got it.

Dorian noticed that when he led, I would follow and support him. So he did it more and more.

He also noticed that by leading (in a sense) our customer base by engaging with them, he was able to find out some incredible things about how kids and families are using and really liking Zibkids.

So he kept going. And we kept going. And, therefore, Zibkids kept going.

He wanted the homepage improved., he got it. He wanted the parents page improved, he got it. He wanted the  teachers page improved, he got it.

Then he got stronger. He wanted to re-engage with the incredible Autumn Zimmerman who is based in Barcelona and had done so much to improve Zibkids several months ago when I did have time to lead.

Now the two of them meet every week and together they are making a lot of incredible things happen — many of which you will be able to read about here in coming weeks and months.

The Early Morning Glow of the iPad
One of my jobs (as dad, not Zibkids employee) is to wake Dorian up at 6:45 AM on Tuesdays so he can Skype withAutumn. Often, though, when I tap on his door and open it, I’ll see the blue glow from the iPad lighting Dorian’s face protruding from the covers. He’s already awake and preparing to talk with Autumn.

Big Lesson 1: Bad News Is Sometimes Good News
A huge lesson for me in all of this is to that sometimes delivering bad news is a good thing. I hated the idea of maybe shutting down Zibkids. I hated the idea of raising that possibility with Dorian even more. But that message struck something in Dorian. And he felt his own power to lead because of it.

Big Lesson 2: Trust, Trust, Trust!
Another huge lesson is to trust! And I really want to thank Autumn for this. Her very clear point is that Zibkids is by a kid for kids. So it makes sense that it is led by a kid. A kid who has some sharp grown-ups who can advise him and implement his vision. Autumn has become a very interesting advocate for Dorian. When we have three-way Skypes sometimes, she makes sure there is room for Dorian in every conversation. Asking his opinion.

Trusting makes getting out of the way possible. And when there are incredible people there to fill the void, then getting out of the way can make incredible things happen!

What do you think?

Big Money

22 Dec

This $100,000 bill is on display right now at the Museum of American Finance in New York City. According to Bloomberg (a business news company) , the government only printed 42,000 of these bills in 1934 and never actually let people use them. If 42,000 sounds like a lot, there are billions of $1 bills being used today. Bloomberg says the government did let people use some other big bills — a $10,000, $5,000 and a $1,000. But the stopped printing these in 1969.

Crazy Facts About Getting a Job … Or 70 Reasons To Start a Company

11 Dec
Check this out Zibkids!  Running your own business with Zibkids.com will help you with the really important things below — like confidence and eye contact. Practice with your Lemonade StandTemporary Tattoo ParlorFlower Farm and Florist, or Jewelry Design Studio. We do find it disappointing that 70 out of 100 bosses say they don’t like people to look fashionable or trendy — what does that have to do with whether you will do a good job or not?!?! Remember, the most important way to be confident is to be yourself — and if that means wearing a cool stripy tee shirt  then maybe you need to focus on the 30 out of 100 companies who appreciate you for who you are. Or, better yet, start that company! Zibkids will really help you get a head start on that! (To see a big version of the graphic, click here). What do you think?
This graphic was first published by Classes and Careers.

Is It Easier to be a Kid or an Adult?

27 Nov

Is it easier to be a kid or an adult?

A question that someone might ask is, is it harder to be an adult or a kid?  There are so many answers because there are so many points of view.  I’m ten years old and my answer is adults.

Zibkids is not nearly as stressful as a normal day job and maybe just because I’m ten, but I find working on Zibkids more stressful and much harder than school.  At school you get cared for; it’s as if you are the client of the teacher.  At work if you’re bad at something you get in trouble, at school you get a tutor.

At Zibkids, I still get to do adult things, but I get lots of help and support.  However, I’m not the only one that needs support, so does my dad.  With my dad I am the adult, I am the leader.

Now if you put that all together you find out that I must lead and, let me tell you, leading can be a pain.  To lead you need drive and energy.  I mean, come on, I thought adults were supposed to lead although I think kids are also great leaders because of all the energy inside of them.  Now when I lead my dad I realize that if I lie in bed watching a show and say “hurry up, I want this done tomorrow,” he wont do it.  But, if I engage with him and work together he will be happy to help.

Every Thursday at school I go to Pre-K and help in Spanish.  It’s amazing how the younger kids look up to me.  I walk in the room and when the door opens they yell Dorian!  They copy what I do.  And that’s an opportunity for leadership.

Now you might not think a 10-year-old can lead a 40-year-old, but adults are amazed at what kids can do, and kids can do a lot.  Kids have very broad imaginations and imagination is the key to leadership.

Now here is my dad’s edited version of this blog post. He says it’s better to just focus on one idea. What do you think?

Can Kids Lead?

A question that someone might ask is, can a kid be a leader?  I’m ten years old and my answer is yes.  I know this because I have to lead in order to make Zibkids move forward.

My dad is really busy. He doesn’t have enough time or energy to focus on Zibkids. But I know that when I make it happen he is happy to help. And we move forward.

I care about Zibkids.com a lot. And I want it to succeed. And I realized I had to lead.

But let me tell you leading is a pain.  To lead you need drive and energy. I mean come on. I thought adults were supposed to lead.

But now I know that kids are also great leaders because of all the energy inside of us.  I have also learned some tricks about leading. For example, when I lead my dad I realize that if I just lie in bed watching a show and say “hurry up I want this done tomorrow” he won’t do it.  But, if I engage with him and we work together he will be happy to help.  Usually I do this by starting do something and then asking him to help me out.

I learned some lessons about leading my dad by leading the kids in the Pre-K Spanish class at my school. Every Thursday at school I go to Pre-K and help in Spanish.  It’s amazing how they look up to me.  I walk in the room and when the door opens they yell, “Dorian!”  They copy what I do.  This helped me see that kids can lead.

Now you might not think a 10-year-old can lead a 40-year-old but adults are amazed at what kids can do, and kids can do a lot.  Kids have very broad imaginations and imagination is one of the keys to leadership.