Saturday, August 26, 2006

Young capitalists

On a bike ride this weekend, I am planing on biking up to the lake at the end of Rock Creek Park. I've made my way to Meadowbrook Stable, readying myself for the upcoming 15 miles. It is quite hot and humid and there are only few people out. A small kid is standing on a picnic table, with a large sign advertising lemonade. She is very cute, smiling and looking at people passing by. Hard to resist indeed. I stop to buy a 25 cents glass of lemonade. Her mom presides over the transaction. I give her 30 cents, explaining that this includes the tip. The child is confused but the mother smiles and thanks me. She blames the weather for the lack of foot traffic. Clearly, not many people are out in the sun today. In any case, it looks that she will soon run out of supply. The business will probably close early.

The ride ended up with a flat tire after mile 35. I did the last 5 miles by bus. The next morning I make my way to the bike shop to get the tire fixed. The road is empty but two kids are there selling lemonade and cookies, sitting in front of their house. "How's business?" I ask, thinking of yesterday's girl that had set up shop on the bike path, clearly looking for costumers. The two boys seem happy "We had 3 people coming already!" The fact that this street is only used by locals living within one block is of no concern to them. Their lemonade is more expensive (a whooping 50 cents a glass) but nice and cold.
Already two completely different business models.


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