ROBLOX: Building the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
by John Shedletsky
As kids, my brother and I had the coolest lemonade stand in town. We got the plywood from one of our old tree houses and our dad helped us put it together – this was a real stand – not just a table with a sign. We didn’t do a ton of business in our suburban town but we did learn a lot about running our own business. We figured out how much we had to charge to cover our costs (and make a profit!) and all kinds of things about supply and demand (very little demand for lemonade in Belmont in February). Most importantly, we had fun.
ROBLOX is the new lemonade stand. ROBLOX offers a wide variety of opportunities for players to run their own business – from creating their own clothing lines to currency trading and beyond. Because ROBLOX is a game, running a “business” is fun. Kids learn valuable business lessons with no risk or cost, all while having a great time! Today, let’s look at our player created games as just the first of many examples of entrepreneurial mini games on ROBLOX.com. When a player joins ROBLOX, he is given a place to make completely his own. If other players visit his place, he earns tickets that he can spend on virtual items to enhance game play. So part of the fun of ROBLOX is building your own place- a creation that you can be proud of. The other part of the fun is getting other players to check out your cool place – and earning the money and social status that come along with building something great.
A player who is looking to get other players to come to his place has many things to consider. First- “What do I have a passion for? What is a project that I can work on everyday that will always be fun and interesting for me?” Building a game takes time, and if you want to build something great, it should be something that you’re passionate and excited about building. Maybe you love pirates and decide that you want to make a pirate island game.
So now that you have an idea that you’re passionate about – it’s time to do some market research (aka- talk to your friends). The question here is – “What do ROBLOX players like to do when they’re playing games?” Ask your next-door neighbor what he thinks about pirate games. Ask your ROBLOX friends what kind of things they would like to see in a game. Maybe your neighbor loves your pirate island ideas, but thinks you should add pirate ship races. Your ROBLOX friends might suggest treasure hunts, parrots, pirate costumes, etc. So now you know what people like, and you can incorporate the best ideas in your pirate place. Now your pirate place is even more interesting and appeals to a wider audience.
You’ve got an awesome pirate place. Now you just need players to visit it! What’s the best way to market your place? Get your friends to play. If they like it (and because you did market research you know they will) they’ll tell their friends and it will move from there. But maybe you want to get even more people than that playing your game. You need to look for other people with similar interests (in this case pirate interests). To do this you could join some of ROBLOX’s pirate groups- perhaps the Straw Hat Pirates, Master Pirates, or Fellow Pirates of ROBLOXia. There you will find specific players that you know like pirate games and you can let them know about your cool new game. You might also make the genre of your game “pirate” so that other players who are looking for pirate games page can more easily find your game. The location of your game (just like with a real lemonade stand) counts for a lot. If you are on the pirate page, you’ve got less competition to get on the first page of games, where more people will see your super cool place. You might also considering advertising with user ads.
At this point you probably have a major success on your hands (along with a ton of tickets!), but if not that’s okay too. Either way you learned a lot about what does and doesn’t work and can take that knowledge with you to your next ROBLOX venture.
Place building is just the first of many entrepreneurial activities for ROBLOX members. Next time we’ll explore creating and managing your own clothing line.