Wednesday, 4 November 2009


It is the time of year when Christmas suggestions for the children's grandparents are sent. I've been thinking about what my children enjoy and it really does not seem to involve much that I could put on a list. My children are growing up in a world where the phrase "the best things in life are free" is the working reality. But that is only because they have discovered all the free games apps on my iphone. They obviously need an ipod touch. But the price tag seems too dear to put on the grannie list. Dilemma. I could spring for one, but two??? That ruins my austerity pledge.

And what about the grandmother list? What else do they play with? Other children, ropes, pens, paint and paper. And cardboard boxes. What else? Nothing. There is only so much lego needed in one house.

Back to the concept of free. Free art, free information on the internet, and free games are offered up to them on a daily basis. Behind the facade of free, there are large corporations footing the bill. Will my son really go out and buy a Volkswagon when he grows up just because they have sponsored the nifty little racing game I have downloaded for him? Will he someday click on one of those google paid-for ads? More than likely, somewhere along the way, he will pay for something. More importantly, they have impaled volkswagon on his mother's brain. Nothing new. Television, radio and newspapers have operated on similar models. But much of the "free" we are provided with in the new online world is sponsored by large global companies. Where is the "local" and "independent" in this new model? Well. That is coming. I can now picture a start-up industry something like desktop publishing evolving that designs nifty little entertaining apps for small businesses. And big apps to umbrella small businesses with their little apps. It is happening already for some small firms, but, they haven't exactly hit the entertainment nail on the head. Big hint: silly games hit a wide range of consumers.

Digressing again. Now I've got a company idea, but, no Christmas list for the children.

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