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Full-Time College Kid, Part-Time Millionaire

From CoenMayes.com

From CoenMayes.com

I love reading about any entrepreneur, but especially young ones, like 18-year-old Adam Horwitz. In just 3 days, his online course “Mobile Monopoly” made him $1.5 million.

In an interview with Income Diary, Adam explains that he first got interested in digital entrepreneurship when his father took him to a seminar about online marketing one day.  “That kind of opened the doors to me to see that there is potential out there for making money online,” he says.

Before “Mobile Monopoly”, Adam sold a few other online courses, such as his courses “Tycoon Cash Flow” and “Cell Phone Treasure.”  Each made him around $100,000.  “Mobile Monopoly” was his first million dollar program.

His success sounds unreal and unmatchable, but he lives by business principles that are actually pretty simple.  He says that his biggest tip to anyone in the online world is to take their business one step at a time.  “I think a lot of people’s struggle is they set up like eight different campaign [at once].”  Instead, he urges people to start with one and wait until it is successful before they spread their focus to other projects. “If you just do a bunch of different products… you’re not going to make a sale for any of them.”

His other big tip is just as simple — make content easy to consume.  People have short attention spans, especially when going through information-intensive courses like the ones Adam makes.  “The best way to do it is through video,” he says. “[People] don’t want to read a lot, they want to watch you talk.” I think this can be applied to anything.  I feel the same way about websites, social media posts, and anything else — I’d rather see a video or an infographic than lines and lines of dull words.  If it looks like an essay, I’m probably going to click out.  People are busy and they want to hear what they need quickly and easily.

The last point that stood out to me was how Adam views all of this.  When asked if he likes being his own boss, he said that he doesn’t even think about it like that.  “I don’t think of this as work. This is fun, this is what I’m doing.”

Adam is in college like all of us in Entrepreneurial Mind. His friends all have minimum wage jobs but because he had an idea and the drive to do something about it, he has made over a million dollars in his spare time.  I think Adam showcases the possibility and opportunity of  internet entrepreneurship.  He’s a reminder to me that being successful is possible, no matter what your age, other commitments, or circumstances. The internet is a platform that has made that more possible than ever before.

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Internet Schooling? 4 Things to Model

From Degrees4Moms.com

From Degrees4Moms.com

Working on Gary Glew’s “Life College” project got me thinking about people who are successfully coaching and teaching over the internet. Glew wants to create an instructional program for young adults who need help transitioning into fully independent life. This would include things like learning about asking for raises, filing taxes, and managing rent. It’s a pretty unique program. I haven’t stumbled upon any other that does that. But we can still learn a ton about best practice from others in the internet-teaching sphere.

I love looking at patterns, and I found 4 key ones to model while researching this area. We’ll talk about each of them, and how they might apply to Glew’s project as an example of finding ways to model established strategies in a new business.

1) Successful teaching sites openly feature their biggest customers. Almost every site I looked at had images of big customers’ logos on a banner somewhere. For Glew’s project, we could have a banner with the logos of the colleges who have bought or participated in the program.

2) Successful teaching sites are categorical. They clearly define what ‘courses’ or types of information they offer. Kahn Academy is a great example of this. They separate their subjects into math, science, the arts, economics, and computing, and then go into clear sub-topics within those.

3) They produce their content in multiple formats. The most successful teaching sites use a variety of platforms, from videos, to podcasts, to blog posts. This could be helpful for Glew’s project if we decide we want to create a ‘Freemium’ model, for example letting people read blog posts and listen to podcasts for free, but charging for video content.

4) They have a call to action on the first page of the website. This is usually an opt-in to subscribe for a mailing list with an incentive. For example, Glew could put up an opt-in with the incentive that if you subscribe, you get 2 free videos of your choice to start with.

I didn’t realize how huge and varied the online teaching space is, but there are definitely a lot of people doing it the right way. I can’t wait to see how this space expands in the future.

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The Power of Free

 

The Power of Free

It was in the summer of 2006 that singer/songwriter Derek Webb promoted one of his albums for free online, asking very little in return from the thousands of followers, fans, and musicians who provided as little information as name, email and postal code. In just a matter of months, the success of Derek’s musical generosity provided him with a list of 80,000 emails from those who had downloaded the final product. It was after this stunning response that Mr. Webb realized the potential in extrapolating this type of internet business model throughout the music industry.

 

Free music is nothing but commonplace in a post Spotify world, but back in the early years, Noisetrade.com was way ahead of its time when it came to downloadable music. The folks working behind the scenes quickly realized that that their model of free music let artists raise donation money for the content they wanted to give away, and recruit a fan base quicker and more substantially then the normal route that iTunes and CD sales provided. The musician is not only building a larger fan base, but building a “targeted” following. Allowing him to play shows in areas where he knows the people will receive him best.

 

Music isn’t the only source of media that the company is planning to stick to, as in recent months they have received commitment from dozens of authors and novelists who want to give their works to the people, so that their fans will hunger for more. This is a kind of business that could have only evolved from a music internet entertainment platform that is constantly evolving to benefit the consumer and the creator.

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Food by Mail?

What is this sorcery am I right?  It’s crazy to think that we can sell different food products through the mail.  I mean if it wasn’t obvious enough you can sell things like granola bars and canned or boxed goods, but now you can even do refrigerated or frozen things!  Subscription boxes like Blue Apron are doing just that.

 

Blue Apron is a subscription box that “delivers all the fresh ingredients you need to make delicious meals in exactly the right proportions.” They offer two plans, the “2-Person Plan” and “Family Plan”.  Inside the box you will find a recipe as well as all of the fresh products and the right amounts to go with it.  All you need to do is cook them.  Something that is nice about this is that you can skip any week’s delivery in advance or cancel at any time.

 

Blue Aprons website says:

“We’ve designed our service to teach you how to cook new recipes, expose you to seasonal, farm-fresh produce and reduce unnecessary food waste. By letting us shop for you, we can bring you fresher and higher-quality food than you can get on your own in the supermarket, all at a better price.”

Blue Apron Logo

Not only is their product pretty cool (I mean they can ship foods like steak and fish and other cold items without it going bad), but their website is awesome too.  It is very easy to navigate, you are able to learn about what you are eating as what goes into different meals, and I believe the phrase kids say now a days is “on fleek”.  They use a continuous page flow style which is my personal favorite page style.  I feel like it makes everything clean cut, modern, makes things easier to find, and is more enjoyable to be on.

 

Not only is Blue Apron’s website the main place where you order your subscription box, but they offer other things as well.  You are able to order food, wine, recipe card holders, knives, a blue apron, and other kitchen prep tools.  Something also I find unique about Blue Apron is that even though you may not decide to subscribe to their product, they offer you free recipes every week.  All you have to do is give them your email.

 

Blue Apron delivers the good foundations of a successful internet business model of being simple, easy to navigate, offers a great product, and generally enjoyable to be on.  If I wasn’t a college student and/or lived in the apartments where I could cook food, I would definitely invest in their product.  For me, I either have the issue of not knowing what to cook or not having the food to even cook a meal.  Blue Apron is able to solve both of my problems by sending me different recipes each week as well as the food and correct portions to go with it.  Of course it doesn’t cover every single meal a week, however, in the future I don’t want to be living off spaghetti and mac and cheese every night (nothing against those they’re my absolutely favorite).  Blue Apron is unique product and I’m definitely interested in subscribing to this product in the future.

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Why Didn’t I Think of That?

6a0147e102ac3c970b019aff0dc0d4970b-800wiI keep having these moments where I discover a new internet businesses and I have to say to my self, “why didn’t I think of that.”  I think this is an all too common occurrence, even with non-internet based businesses.  I was just reading about several internet businesses and my reaction for these was pretty much what I just described above.  A lot of business models are very simple and have a pretty focused effort that when repeated over and over again creates value and generates revenue.  Sometimes I think I need to be spending less time focusing on the day to day things and spend more time just sitting and brainstorming about potential business Ideas.  I feel like the thing that stops me the most from attempting to implement any of the ideas I have had, is that I find one road block or hole in the idea and then I say to myself, “Oh, that won’t work.”   I need to adopt a different mind-set, the mind-set of an entrepreneur.  If all the people that have created great businesses, that are thriving today, stopped the moment they reached their first roadblock or inconsistency, we wouldn’t have any great businesses.

A couple of these internet businesses that gave me the “Oh, why didn’t I think of that,” moment, are as follows.  SantaMail is a business that was started in 2003 and it is exactly what it sounds like.  People pay around $10 so that a letter from “Santa” will be sent to their children.  The letter actually comes from North Pole, Alaska.  Another business is called The Something Store.  It’s really an interesting idea, where a company houses a ton of different items in a warehouse, you spend $10 and they will send you “Something” from their warehouse.  You have no idea what you are going to get, but it will be worth at least $10, and sometimes quite a bit more.  It could be a necklace, an electronic gadget, it could even be a windows tablet or something much more expensive.  More than anything it seems like a unique way to have some fun with $10 and then wait expectantly for your “something” new.  In fact I actually just ordered “Something.” I’ll have to comment and let you all know what it is when I get it, haha.  I hope it’s a rolex.

The point I guess i’m trying to make with this post, is that there are endless possibilities for new and innovative internet business Ideas.  I need to start thinking more about those possibilities and actually take steps toward actually creating the next internet phenomenon.  You too, should be encouraged to do the same.  Thanks for reading. Also, the article I read which touches on some of these unique businesses can be found here.

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The Convenience Model

convenience-kills-everythingSo today, myself and Eric Stratton presented on Curbside, which if you recall is the business that will go and pick stuff out for you at their partner locations and have it ready for you at the curb when you pull up.  This really is an innovative e-commerce model that uses an app to deliver their service, though a major element of the business model involves a physical location and people actually providing a service.  Again you can see a similar model with GLAMSQUAD.

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