How many ideas have you had that you thought would make you a millionaire? You must have had at least one in your lifetime. Did you really do anything about it?
So what does it take to make $100 million? You may be surprised. Take a look at some of the ridiculous ideas that not only turned into business but made millions:
YELLOW SMILEY FACES:
CREATORS: Bernard and Murray Spain
Estimated Profit: $500MM
Who could have ever thought that such a simple graphic would create history! Well, an American graphic artist and ad man,Harvey Ross Ball came up with the image in 1963 when he was commissioned to create a graphic to raise morale among the employees of an insurance company after a series of difficult mergers and acquisitions. The the design was finished in less than 10 minutes and was paid $45 for his work. Two brothers, Bernard and Murray Spain, stumbled upon the unrealized potential of the smiley and used the image on everything possible with the now infamous tag-line,“Have a nice day.”.
CREATORS: Eric Nakagawa (aka Cheezburger) and Kari Unebasami (aka Tofu burger) Estimated Profit: $2MM
Absurd animal photos with disgusting captions receiving more than 35MM hits per month and 8,000 daily submissions! The fat cat obtaining a cheezburger created a huge fan base and people began submitting their own creations. In 2007, Tofu burger and Cheezburger sold the site for $2MM to now CEO, Ben Huh.
MILLION DOLLAR HOME PAGE:
CREATOR: Alex Tew
Estimated Profit: $1MM
To raise money for his University education, a 21 year old kid from England created a homepage consisting of a million pixels arranged in a 1000 × 1000 pixel grid selling 1MM pixels each for $1. Tiny images of the purchaser of these pixel blocks were displayed, a URL to which the images were linked, and a slogan to be displayed when hovering a cursor over the link.
CREATOR: Richard James
Estimated Profit: $250MM
Watching a dropped tension spring slink away across the floor gave birth to SLINKY! In 1945, James presented the toy at a Gimbals in Philadelphia where the first 400 were sold out within 90 minutes.
THE PET ROCK:
CREATOR: Gary Dahl
Estimated Profit: $15M
Making millions out of selling a rock? Well, Gary made it possible in just six months. Dahl, a former advertising executive, sold his rocks for $3.95 on a bed of hay. Each sale earned him a profit of roughly $3. The rocks were packed in cardboard boxes with holes (so the rocks could “breathe”), and marketed them as serious “pets”.
CREATORS: Dave Hampton and Caleb Chung
Eye Gear for a pet dog? Really? It doesn’t sound pretty dumb if someone actually starts manufacturing them and turns them into a million dollar business. The business has received attention and coverage from CNN, Women’s World, People, Regis and Kelly, National Geographic and Animal Planet.