Last week’s Gumball Challenge inspired many Stanford students to get out of bed and make some money. Receiving a loan of $27 along with 27 gumballs, students tried to make as much money as possible for charity. Students did everything from reselling In-N-Out burgers to doing laundry for other kids to providing alcohol to swiping people’s ID cards at the football game for loyalty points to straight up getting on their knees and begging people for money. One group even dressed up as Bible salesmen in White Plaza, harassing students on their way to class. Others took advantage of the all-you-can-eat dining halls by taking as much food as they could carry and then reselling it.
None, however, did as well as the team that stole bikes and later resold them to their original owners. Team captain, Paul Jeffries, was proud of his idea. “It was genius,” he said, “It’s all basic economics. By taking the bikes, we created demand for the very product we could now supply. We not only had a great product but a needy market right at our fingertips.” Students all over campus were left bike-less, and the team was able to sell their bikes at incomparable rates, since the team didn’t have to buy bikes in the first place.
Staff at Gumball Capital were amazed by the team’s staggering $2500 profit in just one week. One Gumball exec said, “We hope their efforts extend beyond the week. This really has potential to be an extremely successful long-term venture.” Jeffries agreed, elaborating on his ideas for expansions of the present business model. He said, “Why stop at bikes? We should also take textbooks, iPhones, laptops, and alcohol. Expanding to other campuses is also in the works.” Gumball said they would award the team with another $27 loan and 27 more gumballs for their chewing pleasure.