I've been playing a little on survival lately, mostly focusing on building my fancy house (Czech it out at /warp FranchHouse). I've decided to make it look really nice and visitable, with the possibility of adding extra rooms to host close friends.
The next thing I'll build (in 5 weeks! I'm gonna be off of JRcraft as much as I can until then for the sake of my grades in my upcoming finals) is going to be my starter shop. Over there, I'll primarily sell food, coal, iron, wood, and seeds and saplings of all sorts. This shop will be made for people who just joined the server, I'll do my best to adapt the prices for them (everyone starts with 150 dollars!). Possibly after that, I'll expand into a second shop that will sell music discs, potions, and some other more "luxurious" stuff. I'll also be buying materials, especially building materials because I'm not a huge fan of mining. I'll design the shopwarp so that people can put up ads about shops people can sell stuff at, or sales that are happening (for example: "Franchshop buying andesite for 200$ per stack!"). I think once I build my shop and people start using it, others will be more inspired to build shops of their own, and the best ones will be selected to be featured at /warp shopwarp. We'll have to come up with some application system, I don't think it should be too difficult.
I can also envision some type of admin-managed mall (fresco-like) where people can buy stuff at, but at a higher price than "market value". The reason for this is that what the owners of the shop (it doesn't actually have to be an admin, it can be a citizen) do is go to other more local shops, buy their stuff and use it to fill stocks of the mall. By having higher prices, the owners make a profit and people are encouraged to go to smaller shops. However, I think people will be quite interested in buying everything together, so we'd have to both minimise the discomfort of /warp shopwarp and find better advantages to local shops. I think by raising prices high enough, everyone will be happy.
On a more personal level, I've gone to the end, killed the ender dragon to then retrieve a ton of xp and a dragon egg. To be clear, it's the only dragon egg in the Survival server (there's only one per world). I decided to sell it for 1 Million dollars, which will, in my mind, end up happening eventually. Some rich person will eventually buy it, and if not, I'll keep it as a nice trophy for myself. I also continued to explore the vasts of the end, which are new to 1.9, to find impressive islands full of weird plants that give a ton of fruit (which is a nice, EXTREMELY cheap source of food), which I'll definitely sell at the starter shop for something like 1$ for 16 fruits. I also found some interesting ender cities, which I made sure to loot, and retrieved very interesting items, including "end rods" (very fancy lamps that I'll also be selling, maybe 50$ a piece); some strange blocks that I don't think I'll bother selling; and more importantly, dragon heads (which I might sell at something like 10 000$ per head) and elytras (once again, around 10 000$). These last two are a lot more rare and very lavish, the elytra gives you the ability the fly (glide with style), so I am selling them for much more. There's only 1 per 3-4 cities, and cities are difficult to find.
This led me to the goal of becoming the richest person on JR. It's pretty arbitrary and might seem a little ridiculous, but I hope to make it in order to prove that my business strategies have been successful, and if the JR economy is booming as I intend for it to, it will give me many opportunities to build all kinds of projects. In other words, I want to be the Donald Trump of JRCraft
PS: I discovered through an accident the mind-blowing fact that if you put 4 spruce saplings in a square, then they'll grow a massive and pretty pine tree. I now have my exterior decoration problem settled.