*I always mean to tell this story, but it slips my mind. Seth Godin’s Purple Cow finally made me remember while in front of the laptop*
This was one of my experiences as an entrepreneur and in business at a young age. I was 17 at the time and away for my Freshman orientation at Boston College the summer before college started. It was a two day event where you got to know some of your peers and get situated with the college. Everyone stayed in the senior dorms the first night, which essentially was a party spanning four floors. Like any party, people got really hungry, and wanted pizza. I figured why not organize it? I wanted to try an experiment to make friends… I said: “I’m ordering pizza, it’s free. If you want to donate/chip in, i’ll try to get the toppings you want + call/text you when it’s here so you have first dibs.” If I lost some money, it was worth it as I would have met a lot of my classmates + made some new friends for the fall. Turns out I did more than that. I made enough to cover the pizza and profit $85. It was 2003 and Fred Wilson hadn’t even invented the term Freemium, but this was certainly a lesson in it. Give people something they want for free and charge for convenience + preference.