I'm the Co-founder and CEO of The Grommet. We launch undiscovered consumer products. It's also the birthplace of Citizen Commerce. I write about design, cultural anthropology, and start-ups, mostly.

Earning college tuition money, the hard way

A lot of my work life is about ordinary people creating disruptive media.  My home life is unexpectedly heading there too, albeit for entertainment rather than commercial purposes.  Let me explain.

It’s the fifth week of a new NBC show “Minute to Win It.”  In brief, contestants perform surprisingly difficult tasks with ordinary household objects (like stacking M & M’s on vertical straws, or keeping two feathers in the air by blowing on them), all for the chance to win a million dollars.  NBC posts instructions for all the challenges and it’s suddenly my son Gray’s living obsession.  He and his friends are showing an application of enthusiastic effort that could only make their high school faculty weep.

Last week they spent 53 minutes mastering a $1M level task, and submitted a short video of their efforts, to the network.  They were shocked to get a call from NBC the next day, and even more shocked last night when their video was selected as the best fan-submission of the week.  Here’s the full episode. Their bit is at 10:50 from the END–the NBC video time stamp counter is in “minutes remaining,” oddly.  (NBC made a mistake and titled my son “David Miller.”  There was a real David Miller involved, but he was actually off camera during this part of the video, apparently answering Nature’s call.)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I came home tonight to a massive video production effort.  (Talk about Life imitating Art.  I can’t get away from video in any corner of my life these days.)  The boys did “Rock Paper Scissors”  to decide which of their gang is going for an appearance on the show.  Some nice lady at NBC is coaching them on how to make the “winner” Pat competitive as a potential contestant.

My house is basically rearranged at this point, as a “Minute to Win It” set. I just wiped gooey egg off my oven, so I know the raw materials involved in at least one challenge (pun intended).   I think I’ll go back to work to get some peace and quiet.

2 Responses to “Earning college tuition money, the hard way”

  1. Stan

    *Seriously* impressive. Too bad he’ll never find any use for bouncing quarters into small containers at college…

    Reply

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