Kids who start lemonade stands aren’t all that different than the guy who started Zynga or Google, although one could argue that a lemonade stand is a deliberate attempt to make a margin and starting something that’s useful for people before you even have a revenue model is deeper.
Thing is, I don’t think kids post up lemonade stands to make money, so much as they throw up lemonade stands to have people take a few minutes out of their day to recognize what they’re up to.
I think most lemonade stands are exercises in business education handed down from up high.
Lemonade stands are lesson plans.
But if you started a lemonade stand where people got something more than lemonade, those kids would be sitting in their plastic chairs on the corner of the neighborhood cul-de-sac selling more than lemonade, in order to sell lemonade.
The lemonade stand might be a place where you got points towards your influence on community politics, for instance.
You stop by and grab a fresh drink and you got yourself ahead in the running for the neighborhood mayorship.
Your mayorship meant you might represent your neighborhood at County Hall when they were deciding on where to build family-friendly parks. The Mayor with the most points was carrying a lot more votes, and maybe that Mayor’s votes represented the overall participation that their neighborhood had delivered in the previous couple of months.
They had their points, which made them Mayor, but they’d need their neighborhood’s points to really have influence.
The whole community could empower their leaders to have a say in local government.
They could do that on their way to their important jobs that let them afford to live in their neighborhood. They could do that knowing that two bucks at the corner was a way to be at City Hall on Tuesday night while they were travelling on business.
A lot more lemonade would get sold, I think.
A lot more kids would see the value of thinking about the world in an entrepreneurial way.
Why is it that only outcasts find themselves motivated to build things that disrupt our experience?
Something is wrong if removing yourself from the mainstream is a prerequisite for trying to change the world.