Time and time again new products are introduced into the market that changes the way we consume. Other times, they become hits for a time being until they’ve run their course. Soon you’re unable to find them anywhere in the world and what’s left is turned into antiques. But one thing remains constant. The Riches.
If you’re an entrepreneur looking to do well, your definition of ‘well’ would be sales and profits. That’s the main aim of any business out there, profit maximization. It doesn’t always work. Some of the times the product isn’t marketed well. Other times, it was just never good enough for people to invest in. But those which do work, make the owners very wealthy.
We look at prime products, like the Lamborghini, or the Rolex and imagine the owners to be extremely wealthy. While that may be true, there are strange inventions that make individuals rich as well. Take your pencil, for example, if you think about it, the manufacturer is probably a millionaire if a lot of people buy them.
Here are some unlikely inventions that took on the market and made people extremely rich.
Big Mouth Billy Bass
Big Mouth Billy Bass$20 – Topeka, KSBig Mouth Billy Bass. Perfect for Fathers Day coming up. Box has been opened but never displayed. Power adapter included. Cross posted $20.
This idea was simple. The product looked like a fish, mounted on a plate you could hang in your living room. The catch? The fish could sing. The idea was brought forth by Gemmy Industries’ product development Vice President, Joe Pellettieri. This product turns its head towards the front, wiggles its tail and sings songs like ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ and ‘Take Me To The River’. The product became an instant hit as soon as it was launched, and sales boomed.
Similar to tinted glasses worn by people, Doggles were invented for dogs. Roni Di Lullo is responsible for coming up with the peculiar idea. She noticed her dog squinting in the sun and thought, why don’t dogs have sunglasses like us? Doggles not only provide protection from the UV rays but are fitted to stay on the animal’s face and keep dust out as well. The idea got so popular that even the USA Army ordered the Doggles for their military combatant dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan. The company made $3 million in sales just in their second year of launch! Its safe to say that Roni is more than just financially stable.
We’re here for you when the Snuggle gets real.
In other words, a wearable sleeved blanket. The Snuggie is the combination of two failed products. But why did the third guarantee success? Well, it’s the result of excellent marketing. ALLSTAR Marketing’s CEO saw that the product could become a hit. They marketed the product by poking fun at it. They did it so much that eventually it caught people’s attention and became a huge success. To date, snuggie has made over $200 million!
Scott Tillinger invented the famous toy we all love to play with. When he saw his kids struggling to play catch with a normal ball, he wanted to invent something which was easier to grip. As a result, the Koosh ball was born. A rubber ball surrounded by rubber strings for better grip. The name Koosh comes from the sound it makes when you catch it. The ball became so popular that it averages around $30 million in earnings a year.
The Plastic Wishbone
If you’ve ever been a part of Thanksgiving where a Turkey is involved, then you probably know what a wishbone is. For others, a wishbone is a bone that comes out of a Turkey after consumption. Rather superficial, people bicker over who gets the wishbone at every gathering. Ken Ahroni set out to solve this problem. He created a plastic Wishbone in order to stop this constant argument at family gatherings. This product not only breaks like a bone but doesn’t make a mess either, making it as close to the original as possible. Every year he sells millions of wishbones, upon which he makes millions for himself too.
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Jonah White and Rich Bailey came up an idea that went opposite to society. Since everyone wants a perfect set of teeth, they designed a retainer which was imperfect in every sense of the word. This product is used today for events such as Halloween and themed parties. In 2006, they recorded sales of around $40 million per annum making the company one of the weirdest and biggest success stories.
Harvey Ball decided to make a smiley face for his PR company client, Mutual Life Insurance. This happened back in 1963. Although he earned $63 from it, what he didn’t do was a trademark on that smiley face. Later on, Bernard and Murray Spain legally obtained the smiley face and decided to incorporate it into every product they had in their novelty store. The face was the biggest hit during 1971, and although it diminished in 18 months, it still managed to generate $50 million in sales. They then opened the store called The Dollar Express and continued their work with the Smiley. This chain was later sold to Dollar Tree for $500 million!