Let’s talk Internet. (or internet?)

The internet is a truly fascinating invention–we established this in the past weeks. We learned about IMPs, gateways, and other technical components that made up the Internet of the past. But, I want to move this conversation more toward the “software” side of the internet. The software brings the hardware to life; both are nothing without each other and something with each other. But let’s also not be too quick to dismiss importance of the hardware side, as you should have an understanding of the hardware and software to truly respect the Internet for what it is, and what it will become.

I began my journey digging into the software side of the Internet when I was in the 6th grade. I found a site called Webs.com, a site that allows you to easily create websites. I decided to make a website called “www.webs.xboxrepairsandstuff.com,” a website that provides an Xbox-repair service. At the time, I wasn’t sure about the legality of this, but it’s no longer in business…so we’re okay. I can tell you now, however, that this was definitely not a legitimate company and would be considered illegal nowadays.

When making this site, I used spark words like “professional,” “quick,” and “inexpensive” to capture the attention of those who landed on my page. I furnished the website background with a bunch of Xbox’s and made the logo with Century SchoolBook Font (what was I thinking?). I had a form that people could fill out so I can give them a free price evaluation for their repair, and I even had the eCommerce part of the site all finished up, nice and neat. I offered competitive pricing–so competitive, in fact, that the next cheapest competitor offered similar services for 200% the price of mine! Now it only seems that the only problem with my website and service was getting the word out to possible customers…How in the world is a 12 year old going to get people to know about his “business”? Considering I had almost no capital and could not afford any type of marketing–let’s not forget it being an illegitimate company–marketing did not seem feasible. However, I thought about how I first learned how to repair an Xbox 360: YouTube. So, without any hesitation, I made a video about my service and posted comments on popular videos that taught people how to fix their Xbox 360s saying that my company can do it affordably and quickly–which it did. With the combination of these buzzwords, design, functionality, competitiveness, and cheap, yet effective marketing, I thought I had the perfect website for the perfect service. This was my first real venture, using the internet as we know it.

So then it began–I got my first real inquiry. The customer was from California, and he sent his Xbox 360 to me. 5 days later, I would receive his broken Xbox 360 at my doorstep. I remember running to the front door and grabbing that package like a maniac. I tore it open and got straight to work–I didn’t sleep until 3 AM that night. Using the materials I purchased, ~$2.00 worth, I spent the entire day trying to fix it. While I probably was not making much money per the hour in retrospect, I was doing something that I was enjoying. After spending hours working on it, I sent the Xbox 360 back to home in California and waited a week for his feedback.

One Thursday afternoon, I receive an email from the customer. The subject read, “Review Received”. Filled with apprehension, I opened the email to read that the customer was…satisfied. I was excited to see that my first customer went well, and I began to think of a future for the website. I could start expanding and fixing anything–iPhone, computer, Wii, or anything else of my interest (so, technology). But with the summer starting in a few days, I would be going to Egypt for the summer and could not continue the business overseas. That was the end of the company for the summer, I thought. That led me to finally take a step into programming–but that’s for another story.

~ammer s.

4 Comments »

  1. Jason

    September 21, 2016 @ 10:40 am

    1

    Thats a really interesting read. like you I started in a similar fashion. Using a online website builder called Homestead I built my first website selling 3D models to the interior design industry.
    However going through the process it turned out I was quite good at website design and looked to design websites in a affordable using online tools.

    I now own and run my own business http://www.quaywebsites.co.uk as a web designer and SEO

    Its amazing what paths you go down in life!

  2. profsmith

    September 22, 2016 @ 3:45 pm

    2

    I mowed lawns and you fixed Xbox machines. Has the Internet not just changed real commercial ventures, but has it radically changed most kids’ concept of a first job? Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I would love to hear your thoughts in seminar next Monday.

  3. Sandroid

    November 1, 2016 @ 7:57 pm

    3

    I really love internet, and learn how to make a site a years ago. Now i have one, my site talk about smartphone price and specs.

    Not bad for the newbie 😀

  4. school of applied science

    November 11, 2016 @ 4:40 am

    4

    It’s actually good to see that you care for your readers. Good post.

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