Ridiculous Ideas That Made People Ridiculously Rich

wacky wall walkerPicture from Drfad.com

Photo: dr fad

Everyone has million dollar ideas, but people rarely act on them. For entrepreneurs, one good idea can provide an extraordinary amount of hope.  Even though the chances of success are minimal, these ideas give people something to aspire to greater than a boring cubicle and a nagging boss. Not to mention, these ideas make some people obscenely loaded.If you’re waiting to act on one of these ideas until you think of something brilliant, don’t.  In fact, you might want to dumb yourself down a notch.  With the Icanhascheezburger.com’s of the world getting acquired for $2MM, it doesn’t take something uniquely awesome to rake in the dough. 

Check out these ridiculous ideas that made people ridiculously rich >

Ridiculous Idea #1: Yellow Smiley

Ridiculous Idea #2: iFart App

Ridiculous Idea #3: Wacky Wall Walker

Ridiculously Rich Person Behind It: Ken Hakuta

Estimated Profit: $80MM

Ken Hakuta should give his mum an extra big hug and kiss for giving him his million dollar idea. She sent him the nation's first known Wacky Wall Walker as a gift from China. Fascinated by the gewy toy that appears to walk down the walls it's thrown against, Hakuta bought the rights for $100,000 and began marketing it in the D.C. area.

Sales crawled along until a reporter for The Washington Post stumbled upon his product and wrote about it. The buzz from the article began one of the greatest marketing fads of all time. Within just a few months, more than 240 million were sold, netting Ken about $80 million.

Ridiculous Idea #4: Icanhascheezburger.com

Ridiculous Idea #5: Slinky

Ridiculously Rich Person Behind It: Richard James

Estimated Profit: $250MM

Naval engineer Richard James' flash of brilliance was spawned by clumsiness. He dropped a tension spring he was working with and watched it slink away across the floor. And thus the Slinky was born.

In 1945, James debuted the toy at a Gimbals in Philadelphia. He was so nervous about the presentation that he convinced a friend to come and stage the first Slinky sale. His nerves were completely unwarranted because the first 400 sold out within 90 minutes. A quarter of a billion in sales later, the $1 toy and its creator lived very comfortably ever after. Well, sort of.

There were some rough patches in there-- like when Richard had a mid-life crisis, left his wife, Betty, and joined a cult. But Betty chugged along with the company, saved it from debts ensued by her crazy husband, and sold the product to Poof Toys in 1998. But, it's safe to say she made out alright.

Ridiculous Idea #6: Snuggie

Ridiculous Idea #7: Million Dollar Home Page

Ridiculous Idea #8: Beanie Babies

Ridiculously Rich Person Behind It: H Ty Warner

Estimated Profit: $3-6 Billion

Fill a sack with beans, give it furry ears, and name it something cute like Patti the Platypus or Splash the Whale. The result? A toy empire bigger than Hasbro and Mattel combined--Beanie Babies. While many initially scoffed at Ty's under-stuffed animals and referred to them as 'roadkill,' the haters were quickly hushed when 30,000 were sold at the first toy show in Atlanta.

The way Ty Warner built his empire is remarkable. He never advertised his products or sold them in major chain stores, like Toys-R-Us. This made the toys harder to obtain and thus more desirable. In addition, Ty would retire certain models after the initial stock-run had sold out, making the few that existed prized possessions.

Call it a scam, but Ty's line of collectibles created the most insane fad frenzy of all time, and he now sits on billions.

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