I was a Girl Scout. From first or second grade through sixth or seventh, I wore the uniforms and earned the badges and participated in ceremonies that involved walking over a small wooden bridge.
And, of course, I sold cookies.
I’m definitely a supporter of the Girl Scouts now. They’re outclassing the Boy Scouts by a million miles on LGBT rights and on just generally belonging to the modern world. And now it’s cookie time! Ever modern, the Girl Scouts are testing a gluten-free cookie, and they’ve adopted the hashtag #cookieboss.
Here’s a Tweet from Girl Scouts CEO Anna M. Chávez:
— Anna M. Chávez (@AnnaMariaChavez) January 29, 2014
I sold cookies every year. I don’t think I learned much about business, though, because Girl Scouts only do sales, and the terms of the sale are more or less fixed. You can’t experiment with three-for-two specials, or earlybird pricing, or closeouts at the end of the season. You can’t buy ad space and test a coupon campaign.
More fundamentally, I didn’t learn much about business from selling cookies because I had no access to information about what it costs to produce a box of cookies — ingredients, labor, packaging, transportation, etc. — and how the price of a box of cookies was determined. Who bakes the cookies? Are the workers receiving a fair wage? What do they do the rest of the year? Let’s talk about unions.