In the mid 1990′s, I became a business-boy and sold my first product to my schoolmate in school. A floppy disk which teaches him how to use mIRC (internet relay chat) and where the best chartrooms are. Geeks like us at that time are crazy about getting the latest internet relay chat rooms to communicate, share, play and work with others around the world via the IRC networks. I sold it for $15 and at that time, it was very precious to me as that was equivalent to around two weeks of my recess allowance.
What was amazing to me what that I had learnt how to use mIRC by myself, found some pretty good chat rooms where IT experts are, used it for a while before writing a introduction of how to use it and sold it as an instruction guide all within 30 minutes of sitting at the computer doing what was defined as “work”.
I was sure that if the same thing was printed as a stack of paper instead of being stored in a floppy disk as a text file, my schoolmate might not be able to part with more than $2 for it. That was one of my first enlightenment that information products had a much more precieved value when it is presented in digital format. Why is that so?
I would imagine that it correlates with the subject at hand that it is all IT related. My schoolmate wants to learn how to use mIRC on the computer, I provided him the guide in digital form how to do it so he can refer to it on his computer while he set up the whole mIRC platform and follow my guide which are the best chat rooms to go to.
That was the value I was providing him, how to use a program much better than others and to save him many hours of frustration in finding the best chat rooms instead of going into “spammy” kinds of chat rooms where people brag more about themselves more than to share knowledge.
The amount of delight I got from that episode was immensely importantly to me as I first felt the power of providing value to another person and the buyer rewarded me with an amount which he felt was fair to him for saving many hours of his time. The most important lesson was this, to get the same amount of money, I could either go to school for 2 weeks to get the allowance or I could invest 30 minutes of my time to make a product like that and sell it. 30 minutes VS 2 weeks, it was a no brainer, business was the way to go. From that point onwards, I never looked back, in every career move I made, I kept that point in mind.