What Technology Startups Can Learn from a 9 Year Old

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Gabriel Marketing Group

Caine Monroy is one of those kids who comes along and without even trying ends up reminding adults what it’s all about. Caine is a nine-year-old boy who spent his summer vacation building an elaborate cardboard arcade in his dad’s used auto parts store in East Los Angeles.

He spent all of his time building his arcade: designing games, making displays for the prizes, incorporating security systems, and creating gift bags.

I first ran across the video for Caine’s cardboard arcade sometime last year and was blown away by his self-sufficiency, creativity and natural drive to build the thing he envisioned.

He is one of those amazing examples of how to “do” a startup the right way. He had an idea and didn’t spend time fussing over money or worrying about all the tools and supplies he didn’t have. He just started building with the resources he had available to him at the time. He didn’t wait for someone else to come and help him. He just started working, and by simply doing what he loved and working on it every day, he inspired other people who started helping to spread the word for him.

Now his story has received press coverage all over the world, the video telling his story has gone viral, and his work has inspired the birth of a scholarship fund that’s raised almost $250,000 to help send kids to college.

Caine is a perfect example of how passion can fuel a new business. Passion is contagious and when you work every day to build the thing you’re passionate about, other people will take notice and the word will spread because people love to tell great stories.

That’s where we come in. We love technology marketing and telling the stories of all of our amazing clients who work tirelessly to build the things they’re passionate about. Here are three simple things we’ve learned from our own experience helping technology startups, and three things that Caine’s Arcade has done exceptionally well:

Just Start Building
When you find something you’re passionate about, lock into it and just start building. The best time for starting work on a great idea is now, regardless of how much money you might have or whether you have all the pieces of the puzzle figured out. Caine had a budget of zero dollars and by simply using his imagination and getting to work, he was able to build an entire arcade out of scrap materials and cardboard. He didn’t overthink the logistics or worry about if the arcade would be a success. He just started building.

Get Help Spreading the Word
Talk to other people about what you’re working on. Excited people spread ideas faster because excitement is contagious. Now with Caine, he was too busy building and dreaming to run around and spread the word himself, but his drive and passion were noticed by the people around him and that was the key for him in helping to advertise what he was up to. A filmmaker happened into Caine’s father’s auto parts store and Caine offered to sell him tickets to his arcade. The filmmaker took him up on the offer and the rest is history. Caine’s passion became the filmmaker’s passion and this is exactly what great technology marketing can do for your technology startup. Link up with people who get excited about what you do and let them help you spread the word.

Enjoy The Process
Whether you’re a nine-year-old boy building a cardboard arcade, or a 237-year-old startup navigating growing pains, it’s important to stay present in the moment. It might be a clichéd saying, but it’s true: The journey is the destination. So remember to enjoy the process and stay mindful of why you’re doing what you’re doing–it’s because you’re passionate about the thing you’re building. In the beginning, Caine didn’t have any customers and his arcade location was definitely not what you’d describe as ideal–he was operating out of his dad’s used auto parts store in an industrial area of Los Angeles–but he didn’t let this stop him. He just kept working on what he loved and enjoyed the process of building his dream.

If you’d like some more advice from this mini mogul, check out his 5 lessons for entrepreneurs.

From the Blog

Leah Nurik