Anyone who comes up with ideas for businesses has more than one they can use. So if you want to start a business and you don’t have an idea, just steal one. Here’s an idea I’m not doing anything with.
I am ending that sentence with a preposition. I think following the preposition rule makes people sound like a tool.
Using tool as an insult started in 2009. We know this because Urban Dictionary tracks the evolution of language. But who tracks the evolution of grammar? There should be a site that allows people to vote on grammar rules that are outdated.
You could earn money the same way Urban Dictionary does. Someone must be making money there because the site has a legal disclaimer. That’s something only rich people have. I don’t have one on my site because there is no money to sue me for. I mean, sue me forthwith. Or whatever.
But don’t think about this idea, because it’s not the business idea I was planning on telling you about.
OK. So here comes my official business idea of this post. The AP Art History test requires kids to memorize a list of 250 pieces of art and know why each piece matters. Khan Academy has info on these 250 pieces of art. But sometimes the info is boring and sometimes it’s almost non-existent. That’s right. There are things kids need to know for AP Art History that have not been covered online.
Every kid taking the test googles every piece of art all year long. And they forward good stuff to their friends. For example, the picture up top is from a contest to recreate famous paintings. And that suitcase is… can you guess?…
Mondrian. There are a million meme-worthy images for The Last Supper. And for every famous painting, there’s a cat painting. But what about Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks? I find no fun links for that one.
It would be so easy to rank high for AP Art History Lipstick. You could source lipstick that looks like the lipstick color Claes Oldenburg created and name the color after the artist.
You could sell it to vulnerable AP Art History students who tell themselves no online shopping until they finish studying but now shopping IS studying. You can put the lipstick in a fun box and sell it for $30 so moms can get their kids AP Art History gifts for birthdays.
The sculpture is at Yale. So sell a gold-plated version of the lipstick in the school store, and price it for a 150% profit, because among Yale students the median family income is $192,000.
Sell cookies with references to the pieces of art. Of course, people memorize better if there’s sugar involved. AP Art History Cookies: Prehistory to Contemporary! Mix and match! Buy two eras and get the third free!
Magic! You have a product.
You don’t really have to make the product in order to advertise it. Sell it at a high enough price that you can pay someone to figure out how to make cookies that look like Spiral Jetty if you get an order. Send a postcard advertising your service to the top 300 high schools in the US.
Magic! You have a targeted sales plan.
Address the postcard to “AP Art History Teacher.” Tell the teacher you can offer a discount to the parents in her classroom. The teacher will send your advertisement to parents.
Magic! You have a marketing team.
Now you wait for an order. And this is about as close as you’ll get to starting a business for passive income. Just make sure the price is really high, because I made AP Art cupcakes and it took me a long time to think of each idea, and order edible AP accouterments online, and I’d need a lot of practice rounds to make the cupcakes look professional.
What about the pieces of art in the list of 250 that are barely even mentioned online? Camelid sacrum in the shape of a canine comes to mind. I don’t even know what a camelid is, but Khan Academy recommends that AP students find out by reading this 50-page unpublished dissertation on Mesoamerica.
Maybe you should make a landing page for the camelid thing, and then collect email addresses and sell them to an SAT tutor. Or you could have your kid use the landing page to crowdsource complaints about how stupid it is that the College Board puts art on the test that no one knows anything about.
Then your kid could write on their college application how they helped their peers to mobilize to improve the way students learn about art. Leadership! Community service! Passion!
Magic! Your kid conquers college admissions without having to be a slave to the racket that is AP testing.