From rocks to riches


A rock has little worth, however, one group of BYU students is trading random objects for something bigger and better, and currently they have traded up to a working television.

An Entrepreneurship Lecture Series class in the Marriott School is putting a twist on the typical group project. The standard four to six individuals rule applies. Teams begin their project with a rock that weighs less than a pound and trade it for something larger and of more value. They take the next item and keep trading. They have two weeks to get the biggest and best item.

Their item up for grabs is a working television with a remote.

You may just have a pen, but you could be on your way to something bigger.

“Whoever has the most value in U.S. dollars wins,” said Austen Gee, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering.

The team is comprised of a variety of majors, including business, exercise science and graphic design. Already a week and a half into the project, they have been through multiple trades.

“Rock, pen, highlighter, up to a brand new pedometer to an inflatable flamingo to a working TV with a remote,” Sam Wood said, another member of Gee’s team.

Teams are allowed to accept more than hard goods; services, money and dates can also be accepted. The rules for the competition are to remain ethical and within the Honor Code.

“It’s been fun to see what people come out with,” said Stephen Pister, a student in the classs. “It’s interesting to see what people value as bigger and better.”

Starting with a rock less has taught students about the value a product can have. Trading a rock for a pen, these students are learning they can receive something for nothing. While students are learning about creating value for a product, they are also coming to understand necessary business skills.

“Social skills, salesmanship and abilities, and negotiating is the big one, it’s the key to any business,” said participant Boman Stacey.

Not all group projects have to be stressful and time consuming to teach a principle. These entrepreneurship students are having quite a bit of fun with it.

The competition ends Saturday at noon. The prize for the winning team is an iPad and lunch with a professor.

For more information or to offer a trade, look at the group’s Facebook event: “Bigger and Better – The Trade of a Lifetime!”



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