Last April, the world went crazy over Caine’s Arcade, a short documentary featuring Caine Monroy, an excitable and inventive 9-year-old who created an entire arcade out of cardboard, running it out of his dad’s auto parts store in Los Angeles. Filmmaker Nirvan Mullick happened to be Caine’s first paying customer, an experience that inspired him to film Caine’s story, and views after views after views later, the rest is history.
Within days of Nirvan posting the film online, Caine’s Arcade was an Internet phenomenon, and now Caine and Nirvan are TEDx’ers. The pair spoke at the recent TEDxYouth@SantaMonica event, sharing what they’ve learned through their recent adventures in film, creativity, collaboration, Internet buzz, and innovation.
In a particularly poignant moment during their talk, Caine, now 10, shares the five things he’s learned as a fledgling business owner — running his arcade — something that’s gained him so much attention that Forbes predicts the young entrepreneur will be a billionaire in 30 years. His advice?
- Be nice to customers.
- Do a business that is fun.
- Do not give up. (This he underlined three times.)
- Start with what you have.
- Use recycled stuff.
This plan must be working, because (Caine and) Nirvan’s newest project, the Imagination Foundation (IF), has found fans in many illustrious idea-champions, including TED favorite Sir Ken Robinson, and TEDxWaterloo 2013 speaker and Mars Rover Curiosity engineer, NASA’s Rob Manning.
Above, in this trailer for the IF’s Global Cardboard Challenge, “an annual event that invites the world to build anything awesome out of cardboard, recycled materials, and imagination,” (which will happen again this October) you can hear both Robinson and Manning’s insights on imagination, creativity, and ways to encourage the next generation to keep their sense of curiosity, no matter what — that same sense that drew us all to Caine’s Arcade in the first place.
Feel free to give it a watch, and if you haven’t seen Caine’s Arcade yet, you must, but make sure you have some tissues nearby — it’s a real tearjerker:
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