How to make money - and how not to!

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How to make money - and how not to!

seriál :: Language corner

Some people know a good investment when they see one. Others let golden opportunities pass them by.

Think of Peter Minuit, Governor of New Amsterdam (the modern city of New York), who bought the island of Manhattan from the local Indians for 24 dollars´ worth of tools and cloth. Nowadays $24 wouldn´t buy one square foot of office space in NY! For that price now, you could park your car for a few hours.

And what about the creators of Superman, who sold their rights to the comic strip hero to a publisher for $65 in 1938 because they were broke? Nowadays the Superman movies alone bring in hundreds of millions of dollars!

Sometimes both sides benefit from a deal. Back in the 1920´s a man contacted a company making matches. He told them he had discovered a small change in their manufacturing process that could save them a lot of money. He promised that the change would cost them nothing to put into effect, and he only wanted a percentage of the savings they would realize if they went ahead with his idea.

The match company was not interested in hearing the man´ s idea. After all, if the idea was so obvious to an ordinary person, surely their own research team would have come up with it already. They then spent months trying to find ways to cut costs, but drew a blank. Finally they gave in and called the man in. They agreed that if he could really save them money he could have the percentage he wanted.

The man was as good as his word. This is what he told them: “You presently put two striking surfaces on each match box, but you really only need one. If you eliminate one of the surfaces, you will have an instant savings.”

The company adopted the idea, saved the money, and paid the man. Have you got any bright ideas to make a million?

If you have a crazy idea how to make money and would like to improve your English, write it to us (just few words…) and send it to [email protected]

be broke = být na mizině
call in = přivolat
come up = přijít na 
deal = dohoda, obchod
draw a blank = lidově “utřít hubu”, mít smůlu, nepovést se
foot square = stopa čtverečná (
1 ft = 0,3048 m = 30,48 cm)
give in = ustoupit
go ahead = pokračovat

instant = okamžitý
obvious = zřejmý, jasný, samozřejmý, zjevný
ordinary = obyčejný, běžný
saving = úspora
striking surface = škrtací povrch (na sirkách)
strip hero = kreslený hrdina

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