Stupid Ideas That Made Ended Up Making a Ridiculous Amount of Money
You’re going about your day, doing mundane things as you would on the daily, and suddenly you’re hit with an idea. Upon further reflection, you conclude that the idea is kind of stupid and would never work in the real world.
Well, if you were to consider that the following inventions and business ideas, which are by all purposes and means ridiculously stupid, worked so fabulously to the point of making their creators millionaires, maybe yours can work too! These prove that there is a market for everything, you just need to find the right one for your idea and make use of the right marketing tools.
Here are some of the most stupid ideas that ended up making their creators millions!
1. The Slinky
The slinky is a toy most of us have played with, but thinking about what it really is makes you wonder how it came to be considered a “toy” in the first place. Naval engineer James, having already earned a reputation for his clumsiness, came up with the idea for the slinky when he dropped a spring and watched it jump along the floor.
Needless to say, it’s popularity grew immensely, and James is thanking his clumsiness because he’s become about $250 million dollars richer for it!
2. Ifart App
Born out of the brilliant mind of Joel Comm, the iFart app is basically a concept that turns your phone into a whoopee cushion. Not the worst idea, sure, but who would pay money ($0.99) for something like that? Apparently, about 400,000 people, an estimate calculated from the total revenue the app has earned so far. In fact, it was downloaded about 113,000 times in just it’s first two weeks on the app store!
3. Pet Rock
What kid hasn’t wished for a pet? But not all parents are ready to give in to such a wish, and even if they did, taking care of a pet isn’t an easy job. Capitalizing on this, Gary Dahl, a California advertising executive, bought a bunch of rocks, packaged them in boxes with holes (so it could “breathe”), and marketed them as pets that did not need to be fed, walked, bathed, etc.
Seem like a silly idea? Well, the numbers say something else. Making a profit of about $3 dollar per pet rock, his company, aptly named Rock Bottom Productions, was rolling over in millions of dollars of money!
4. The Million Dollar Homepage
21-year old Alex Tew was an enterprising student that was looking for a way to put himself through college when he came up with the idea of selling advertisement space for a website by 10 pixels, similar to how a billboard company would sell space per square meter. The only difference? A pixel is the lowest display unit of a screen, and a typical screen has over 1,024 pixels. This would mean that taking space out for an ad that was reasonably visible would cost you quite a bit of money.
But, contrary to common sense, the idea ended up making over $1 million in gross income. The resulting website looks like a mish-mashed advertisement quilt.
It’s no surprise that the market for dog accessories is booming. From food and nutrition to costumes and comfort items, dog owners love to splurge on their furry companions. But one thing that even dogs are probably questioning if they need? Doggles, or goggles for dogs.
Selling for a ridiculous $80 a pair, the only thing they are good for is to get those likes on a picture of your dog wearing them on Instagram – but, you guessed it, the sales figures say something entirely different.
6. Santa Mail
Many argue that Christmas has become less of a religious event and more of a commercialized holiday, and there’s no better argument for this than Santa Mail. Retailing for about $10 a letter, Santa Mail is a concept that sends kids a letter from Father Christmas – funded by their parents of course. Father Christmas, in this case, is none other than founder Byron Reese, who has made over $20 million in revenue since the launch of his idea in 2001.
The internet loves a good cat pic and of course, memes. Perhaps its the combination of the two of these that caused Erica Nakagawi and Kari Unebesami to hit the jackpot – literally. They started up a website that displayed funny cat pictures, submitted by others, every single one of them was captioned “I can has cheezburger”. Seems like a funny idea, sure, but the astonishing thing is that it drew over $10 million views a month, which led to the website then being sold for $2 million dollars to investors!
8. Slap Bracelets
You’ve got to put your comforts aside if you want to look fashionable – just ask any girl who’s suffered through a night in high heels and leather dresses just to look like a bombshell. Slap bracelets were the tweenie version of hurting yourself to look cool. OK, so they didn’t hurt that much, but they are literally a piece of jewelry that encourages you to hit yourself. The slap bracelet became popular all around the world, selling tens of millions of units and making large amounts of profits.