In 1995 Angie Hicks moved to Columbus, Ohio to help her boss, William Oesterle, find a reliable construction contractor. She went door-to-door gathering reviews of local home and lawn care services. Then Angie compiled her list, giving companies report-card-style ratings from A to F. People who wanted to call in or receive a newsletter containing recommendations from Angie’s crowd-sourced list signed up for a subscription. From these humble beginnings, Angie’s List has grown into a thriving website that reported $83Million in revenue and a net income of almost $4.8Million for the three months ending June 30, 2016.

On August 12, 1998, Senh Duong launched a website in his spare time. He called it Rotten Tomatoes after the practice of audiences throwing rotten produce at stage actors who delivered a poor performance. Rotten Tomatoes is a film review aggregator–a place where audiences and critics post and read reviews. The site attracted 600-1000 visitors each day its first week. Within 20 months, Duong and two partners quit their jobs to run it full-time. They sold the company less than six years later for an undisclosed sum. Rotten Tomatoes is now among the top 300 websites in America and among the top 600 websites in the world with 26Million visitors each month!

What does this have to do with homeschooling? Both of these companies are examples of evaluation skills in action (assessing, ranking, recommending), and both were started from practically nothing…except an idea.

Does your child have a passionate interest? Who knows what that nurtured interest might become!

Yes, they will need time to develop true expertise. In order to express an informed recommendation or offer advice, one must first be informed, right? And learn to write…and maybe how to build a website…and build people-skills. But the point is that they can start to capture a vision for why skills like writing and computer applications and even math (I know, ugh, but you’ll need to count up your earnings, am I right?) matter.

So here’s this Friday’s fun challenge:

Brainstorm a bit.

What interests you?

What are some things you know or do that not many people know about?

What interests, needs, and/or questions do people have for which you could supply answers?

Start there, and let your mind begin to play with the ideas!