Seize every opportunity to parent

My two youngest are both 7-yr-olds, boy and girl. The girl was born second. She asked me this morning, “Dad, why don’t we see any new games on Roblox anymore?”

I said, “Roblox game makers publish 1,000,000 new games a month. But your question is, why don’t we see those new games, right?”

She said, “Yeah, why don’t we see those new games?”

We had about 5 minutes before walking out to the school bus, and then, about another 5-10 minutes before the bus actually arrives.

Like a philosopher, I respond to her question with another question, “Is it because out of those 1,000,000 new games, only a few rise to the top and that’s all we see or remember seeing? Well, if you were a game maker, what would you do to get your game to rise to the top?”

My boy responds, “I would add more blue skies to my game.” Interesting response. It’s been cloudy and rainy here in North Carolina lately. I’ve noticed some games adjust with the seasons, making holiday themed updates.

My girl responds, “I would make a YouTube video about it.”

Innovation. Marketing. My son responded with improving the game itself. My daughter responded with improving the story about the game. It’s possible their gender played a role in their responses.

I said to them. “Interesting. It looks like there are two areas we can change to make your game rise to the top: something on the inside of the game, and something on the outside of the game.

By now, my son had walked to the kitchen to grab something to munch on before the bus arrives.

“That something on the inside, let’s call that innovation. The outside, the story, let’s call that marketing; maybe some games stay at the bottom because people just don’t know about them.”

So I started asking my daughter about what kinds of stories could she tell to get people not only interested, but interested enough to share the story. Are there some stories that the mere act of telling them to other people, makes them feel better?

I got the question from Professor Jonah Berger and his book Contagious (2013).

The girl is my little entrepreneur. We had a few months not too long ago in which we’d exercise creative thinking in ways to make money other than getting a job. As the days went by, she got extremely creative for a then-6-yr-old.

She first started by coming up with ideas for things to sell. Led to a great discussion on why some things sell better than other things.

We then noticed how instead of people going out to get things today, the things themselves were now coming to people – e.g., online school, online shopping, online working. Or, replace online with mobile, as in mobile phones, or smartphones.

She likes animals, getting clean, and getting pampered. So, she came up with a concept: a mobile pet spa. And that was just one of many.

I got her started on a product development journal. She kept at it for a few months. We’ll revisit it.