Believe it or not - these odd business ideas made them millionaires... and they really never thought that they'd actually would. Yes, they have become rich and their brilliantly strange ideas have made their ways to be an instant 'celeb' of their own time.
1. The vintage Pet Rock comes back.
It has become a fad in the mid-70s where Gary Dahl, an advertising executive, thought of creating this hassle-free pet. The idea popped up after hearing his friends' rants over their crazy pets. He took it seriously and was surprised that it'd be a hit. Since a rock doesn't need to be fed, bathed, and groomed, more so wouldn't die, disobey or get sick, the pet rock collectibles were sold like hotcakes. This unbelievably made Dahl $15M richer in just six months.
Comes with everything you need, the Pet Rock with walking leash Silly Gag Gift is still available here for only $9.95, free shipping.
2. Yellow smiley button pins made the people behind it smile even more.
These yellow smileys, a.k.a smiley-face emoticon, was created by Harvey Ross Ball, an American graphic artist for his client, State Mutual Life Insurance, to boost the morale of the employees in 1963. He made this emoticon in 10 minutes and was paid $45 for the very simple sketch.
Realizing the potential of this novelty item, brothers Bernard and Murray Spain bought the legal rights and incorporated the tag line, "Have a nice day." They put the smiley face on all the things they could ever think of - mugs, shirts, stickers, etc. For only 18 months, this fad gave them $50M worth of sales. They also opened a chain store, Dollar Express which continued to sell it in the 80s. And in year 2000, they sold the store to Dollar Tree for $500M.
Smiley's profit can reach more than $600M in total sales... and perhaps still counting. Imagine how much money, Harvey Ball lost or how disappointed he could be? Oh my.
A set of 48 mini metal smiley button pins is still available online for some good vibes. Grab them here for only $6.38.
3. ViralNova.com earns millions through ads.
I launched @ViralNova exactly 2 years ago today. Who would've thought a random Wordpress theme and a spare bedroom would lead to this?
— Scott DeLong (@scottintheworld) May 18, 2015
This personal blog turned viral, earning millions from its roughly 100 million monthly page views. ViralNova is founded and managed by Scott DeLong. He has two freelance writers and they all made way to grow the site as huge as Buzzfeed in terms of scale and size.
Just a few words from this rich guy:
The biggest mistake most aspiring Web entrepreneurs make is they think too big. Don't try to change the world. Just be a millionaire. — Scott DeLong (@scottintheworld) October 24, 2014
Thus, according to Business Insider, this media startup has been acquired by digital-media company Zealot Networks both in a cash and a stock deal that could be worth as much as $100 million if in case, Zealot appreciates in value.
4. The 'slinky toy' sprang its way to stardom.
The creative mind behind the success of this toy is the naval engineer, Richard James, who sold its first 400 units in just a span of 90 minutes during its launch in the early 40s. This toy could do a lot of tricks that amazed its customers, making the same toy available in different countries.
Estimated profit is at $250M and perhaps still counting. Great news! Original 'Slinky Metal Spring Toy' can still be found here for only $4.99.
5. You'll wish you have these plastic wishbones for a fortune.
Ken Ahroni, the man behind the artificial and custom wishbones and the President of Lucky Break Wishbone Corp., started the fad of giving the buyers certain 'joy' of making wishes as many as they wanted. To date, the company is producing and selling thousands of wishbones per day both for personal, commercial, and promotional functions.
Want this, folks?
Now, if you want to earn your first million dollars in no time, you'd better make those creative juices 'overflow'. Who knows, you'd be the next millionaire with your crazy, yet awesomely 'soon-to-be-a-hit' invention that could rock the world.