He asked me early in the afternoon what kind of work I did, because Mommy told him I don't have a job and can't make any money.
I explained what I did; I write reports and make videos, which I sell on the internet to people who want to learn things.
He didn't understand how this worked. So I brought him to the computer, and showed him AWeber and E-Junkie and the Warrior Forum. We talked about it for a few minutes, and he wanted to know if he could help me work.
We spent the next two hours putting together a JV. We established a work process (he would read me passages from the latest books by Frank Kern and Brendon Burchard, and I would write down my thoughts about them in a report). We arranged a time frame (one week) and revenue split (fifty percent). And once the report was finished, I put it up for sale.
Today, I spoke to him on XBox Live, and we discussed the Next Phase of things. We're going to put it onto an affiliate platform and launch it on another marketplace. So we had to discuss the tradeoffs: keep the price the same, and lose much of our revenue to affiliates; raise the price, to make room for affiliate commissions; or - my son's idea - lower the price so more people would buy it.
We spent almost an hour discussing the fundamental principles of economics - supply, demand, and the marginal utility theory. Not in great depth, of course, but we established that he would prefer to raise the price... and did the math on what price he would prefer where it would still be of interest to buyers.
This child is seven years old.
Given a real project where he had to do real work, and real decisions that had real impact, he rose to the occasion.
And he's going to end up with a few hundred bucks in his hands. The first $125 goes to XBox Live points, per his request - Mommy won't let him have more than 800 at a time, so he can't buy any of the cool 1200 and 1600 point games. (He just recently had to beg a retail boxed copy of Plants vs. Zombies off his grandparents because it's 1200 points on XBLA.) The rest has to be split 50/50 between "savings account" and "whatever he wants."
The really interesting part, to me, was how quickly he figured out the basics of supply and demand. If you charge more money, fewer people want to buy. But when more people want to buy, you can charge more money. And he grasped almost intuitively that there is a "perfect" price, which gave me the opportunity to teach him the word "optimal" and delve into the idea of marginal utility.
Seven. Years. Old.
This stuff is not that hard.
A lot of people are out there agonising over questions like what to charge for their product and when to release it as a WSO and how much stuff to put into it.
Not. That. Hard.
Just make a decision. Stop thinking you can't decide these things. Stop thinking how complicated it is. It's not that hard!