Many of us have thought of an idea and dreamed that it could turn us into a millionaire. Spending long hours wondering what would happen if we pursued it. Well, a lot of people out there did act on their ideas and managed to turn their fortunes around. Just like the folks who became millionaires with stupid ideas, the people below used simple inventions to achieve their dreams.
Velcro is such a common thing we use, be it in shoes or to fasten our bags. Can you believe that the man behind this simple idea turned into a millionaire? One fine day in 1940, George de Mestral was out hunting in the mountains of Switzerland. He noticed the burrs from a plant that had stuck to his coat. Mestral was so curious how it happened, how the little plant clung on to his clothes and his dog’s fur.
After some thinking and experimentation, Mestral turned this small natural phenomenon into what we know today as ‘Velcro.’ The French word Velour (velvet) and Crochet (hook) came together to create Vel-cro. In 1988, he earned $93 million from his hook and loop invention, and the Velcro company continues to make big bucks.
Gummy bears have always been around and adjusted into a ‘comfort food’ corner of our hearts. They are rubbery, colorful, and sweet. Kids love gummy bears, and there are movies made on these jellies! However, if you went to an investor with this idea, they would have laughed at you.
Hans Riegel is the Gummi Bear billionaire who invented these colorful, affordable, and fruit-flavored gum candies. He manufactured it by Haribo, the company he had founded in 1920. The company does not reveal its revenues, estimated at $2.9B in 2011.
Who does not love an extremely comfortable shoe that feels like you are floating in mid-air? Crocs are just that type of footwear but in funky packaging. The origin of Crocs dates back to November 2002 at the Ft. Lauderdale International Boat Show. The first model of Crocs called ‘The Beach’ made its debut in the show and sold out all the pairs.
Scott Seamans, Lyndon Hanson, and Jr. Boedbecker are the three innovators behind these colorful clogs. Their shared love for sailing led them to create a new lightweight material called Croslite. Once they acquired the rights to manufacture this foam, they turned it into Crocs. More than 200 million pairs of Crocs have flown off the shelves, with new numbers adding each day. Crocs worth as of today is $2.52B, and the company keeps innovating along with fashion trends.
Winters make us wish we had a comfortable jacket that could keep us warm without extra layering. The founder of Snuggie made all of our wishes come true. Snuggie is a blanket with sleeves, produced to keep you warm through the rough winters.The reason that made Snuggie sleeved blanket popular was the hype. Everyone dreamed of a body-hugging blanket, yet no one went on to make it.
Snuggie also started a debate in the US on whether it was clothing or a blanket. Many still argue that it is a ridiculous idea that has somehow managed to earn millions. It was the promotional campaign that put this product on the map and attracted early customers. The Snuggie sold over 30 million units, earning in over $500 million revenue and making the owner Scott Boilen’s net worth of $200 million.
It is impossible not to use a bandaid today but think of the time when this little lifesaver was nor around. Thanks to the brains of Earle Dickson, a Johnson & Johnson company employee, we have bandaids. This useful and straightforward invention came through in 1920 and instantly became popular. After conveying the idea to his employer, Dickson quickly rose to the top, and Bandaid was born. Bandaid is not like a bandage, and the difference is in the way it sticks around your body.
Treating minor cuts with a bandage used to take so much time, Dickson realized this because of his wife, who cut and bruised herself often during cooking. Out of concern for his wife, Dickson put much thought into the situation. He put thought into treating a minor wound without running to the doctors every day.
As many famous inventions came with a simple idea, so is a post-it note. And funnily enough, post-its were born in a researcher’s office. While researching a strong glue, Dr. Spencer, created a reusable adhesive, which was capable of sticking and could easily be detached.
Art Fry, his fellow, did not let his fellow’s creation to waste and decided to stick to the back of a yellow paper and use to flip between market pages of his church hymnal. This ingenious idea led the creator to kick off mass production and earn millions of dollars back in revenue.
A fidget spinner is a stress-relieving toy for people who fidget a lot. The creator of this toy/device is unknown, but many companies are now generating a profit out of it. It consists of a ball bearing in the center and is generally multi-lobed. The body is made of plastic or metal designed to spin along its axis, even on a gentle push.
Fidget spinners took the world by storm. Every child wanted one, and every company tried to make them. It baffled the minds of parents as to why their children wanted something as silly as a fidget spinner. But, the idea kept the world intrigued for a good year before fizzling away like all other fads.
Every girl owned a Barbie doll in her childhood and called it her best friend. Well, your childhood best friend served a reason to become a millionaire to its creator Ruth Handler. He was a co-founder of Mattel and the originator of a significant and creative idea in the world.
Barbie dolls became the closest friends to little girls and the fanciest small toys. They made great gifts, a perfect addition to a toy collection. Pretty soon, this simple idea turned into a vast empire, and every celebrity wanted to look like a Barbie doll. Besides, if you see the net worth of Mattel as of today, which is $4.49B, you will never think of ignoring your ideas.
These ideas are simple, but their demand managed to generate millions for the people who executed them. They displayed patience and courage, which are the two key traits that resulted in their success (along with the idea, of course). So, next time if you think that your idea is worthless, do not give up and do give it a second thought. Who knows that your simple design may bring you into the list of millionaires?