Strange Brew

Babies On The Board

When it comes to business, kids say the darndest things.

In The Portable Business- aurus: A Treasury of Insight, Wit, and Wisdom from Tomorrow's Captains of Industry (Chandler House Press), Steve Bennett seeks counsel from candid kids on running a hypothetical company. One situation involves the company's popular dinosaur puppet. When another company starts selling dinosaur puppets that are larger, cost less and even make a roaring sound, the young board of advisors respond:

"Maybe you should add stuff like three more legs--no, five more legs, and six heads and antennae. Then you could sell them as something really different, like `alien dino puppets.' I think many people would come back to buy them." --Alyssa, 8

"Maybe put TWO T-Rexes in a pack, and when you rub their tummies, they would roar AND they would fight. Maybe they would watch FOUR T-Rexes fighting. I think you could sell a lot that way." --Aaron, 6

"If you copy somebody, you have to ask permission. Did they get permission to copy your store? No, they did not. So call the police immediately." --Audrey, 8

"If they make a bigger T-Rex, you make a smaller one and talk about the benefits, like, it would fit in your pocket."--Nathaniel, 10

"Make all of our puppets have sound effects. Then lower our price to match their price. Don't go lower, though, because then they'll go lower and we'll go lower and then they'll go lower and we'll go lower and then . . . the dinos will be free." --Dylan, 9

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This article was originally published in the June 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Strange Brew.

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