Ever since we were children, we have had it drilled into our heads that the way to get rich is – study hard, go to college, get a job, work hard, save…we all know the drill. Those who struck out on their own to follow their hearts were called renegades, mavericks, or rebels. And then there are others who came up with ideas so outlandish that they seemed almost doomed. But, fate and fortune had other plans.
Here are some of the 11 outlandish ideas that made their people super rich:
1. Pet Rock
Profit: Made nearly $15 million in less than six months.
There’s really no reason for anyone to buy a rock. But there are a bunch of weirdos out there who think it’s the perfect thing to keep a rock as a pet! And Dahl, a former advertising executive, nailed this marketing strategy by targetting the right crowd.
He sold it as a “hassle-free” pets, complete with a pet training manual and a card board box designed after a pet carrier. The product that cost about three dollars was instant hit online.
2. The Wacky Wall Walker
Net Profit: More than $80 million.
Designed by Ken Hakuta, the toy was a massive craze back in the 80s. The idea to sell the item after Hakuta’s mother first sent him a simple version of the toy as a gift from Japan. Hakuta then made a plan to make a profit out of it and it turned out be a huge success.
3. iFart App
Profit: $400, 000
We may deny it all we want, but there’s something hilarious about fart sounds. And Joel Comm has achieved the kind of success most people only dream of by making pointless fart noises. Comm is the entrepreneur behind iFart, one of the top 100 most downloaded apps ever on Apple’s App Store. The app was downloaded 113,885 during its first two weeks on the market.
The App was such a craze that Jimmy Kimmel said, “If everyone in America gives as much as they spent on the iFart App, Haiti will be saved.”
It’s something all of us played with for hours as kids. The multi-coloured flexible spring toy was a million-dollar idea of a naval engineer named Richard James. The idea sprung when James dropped a high tension spring while building something and noticed the way it slinked all the way down to the floor.
And thus happened the Slinky toy. IT debuted in the market back in the 1940s and has been a craze ever since. Till now more than 500 million have been sold across the world.
5. Million-Dollar Home Page
Profit: A million dollars in over a year
This was the brain-child of a college student who was determined to find a way to pay his way through a three-year business management course at Nottingham University. According to the BBC, in four months’ time, word of the page had gone viral and it sold out.
6. PewDiePie: YouTube videos
Profit: $12 million earned in 2015 alone
Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, known as as PewDiePie from Sweden made big bucks by just live streaming his gaming sessions on YouTube. He became one the top-viewed YouTubers with more than 9 million page views and also made it to Time magazine’s “The World’s 100 Most Influential People”!
7. Hamdi Ulukaya: yogurt in an abandoned factory
Profit: $1.86 billion
Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish businessman and entrepreneur arrived in the US with only $3,000 in his pocket, purchased an abandoned factory, created Chobani yogurt. In just five years, he got $1 billion in revenue.
8. Tamagotchi, created by Japanese toymaker Bandai
Profit: One Tamagotchi costs nearly 200 dollars today .
Tamagotchis are handheld egg-shaped digital pets that first arrived on American store shelves in May 1997. The device prompted a huge craze back in the nineties, and was perfect for kids – and adults alike. Bandai sold more than 3 million tamagotchi units in its first three months and has sold more than 70 million units worldwide.
9. Slap Bracelets, invented by Stuart Andrews
Profit: $ 8 million
This is something all of us have obsessed aover as kids. A man named Andrews, a high school woodcraft teacher, was the man behind this brilliant product, In 1990 alone, the bracelets were estimated to be generating profits between $6 million and $8 million.
10. Yellow Smiley Faces, invented by Bernard and Murray Spain.
Profit: $50 million
It all started with Bernard and Murray Spain buying exclusive rights to the smiley face. They then used the image and the tag line “Have A Nice Day,” everywhere possible and grossed 50 million dollars in sales in the first year-and-a-half.
11. Doggles, invented by a company with the same name
Doggles goggles for dogs were the first and only eye protection designed and created just for your pooches. The item sold for $80 a pair, and they have earned the company millions.
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