We’ve all woken up in the middle of the night with an application or product idea that we were sure would make us millionaires. The difference between us and the people whose products made it into this article is that we either a) forgot to write them down or b) didn’t take the time to develop them into full businesses. These brilliant (and sometimes incredibly stupid) products made millions.
Read about the 10 simple product ideas that made their creators into millionaires!
Aerobics and dance lessons aren’t anything new. There was a whole aerobics craze in the 80s. There was Taibo, which mixed martial arts with aerobic exercises. Neither of these reached the soaring heights of popularity that Zumba was able to reach. Zumba is an exercise program that combines Colombian dancing with aerobics. It was created in the 90s by Alberto Pérez, and has since become an international best-selling aerobic program that turned Alberto into a millionaire!
AirBNB and Uber
The idea of websites that allow people to rent out their homes isn’t new. The idea of hailing cabs with the help of a phone isn’t new either. But if you make those into an app and then invest a lot of money into marketing… Well, then you can join the millionaire club with your amazing new product! Both AirBNB and Uber have taken the world by storm, and it’s now uncommon to be visiting a country where you can’t hail an Uber from the airport to transport you to your AirBNB flat.
Can you imagine the days when you didn’t have post-it notes stuck to your screen or refrigerator to remind you of the most important things? Can you imaging using something like index cards or, God forbid, a notebook to keep track of your ideas? Barbaric. The creator of the Post-it notes quickly became a millionaire as these sticky pads of paper became a staple both in and outside of business offices and schools all around the world.
Drinking water is boring. Drinking milk is boring. Generally, the whole idea of drinking is kinda boring and tedious. But add a crazy straw to your regimen and all of a sudden consuming any liquid becomes the highlight of your day. The creator of the crazy straw became a millionaire quite quickly as his little plastic inventions became an integral part of every kid’s birthday party.
As much as I don’t like people who profit off of making women feel inferior about their bodies, I couldn’t skip Spanx. They were created in the early 00s by Sara Blakely who found that regular pantyhose caused her discomfort during a time when she had to do a lot of walking door-to-door selling fax machines. So, she invented Spanx. She invested $5,000 into her company, used her credit card to trademark the word “Spanx”, and theт promptly became a millionaire as her invention became extremely popular.
Look, I lived through the days when ketchup bottles were made out of glass and getting anything out of them was a whole adventure in and of itself. Then, the top-down bottle was created with a special valve to make sure that nothing spilled out. This was in 1991. By 1995 the inventor of this contraption was able to sell it for $14 million!
You would think that something as simple as a yellow smiley face has been around for all of history. You’d be wrong. The smirking little face was created by Harvey Ball, and you had to pay $45 to use the image on your product. Once the huge marketing potential was discovered, the creator of the image was able to make $50 million from licensing the image to companies and businesses.
Million-Dollar Home Page
This is, by far, the most brilliant simple idea on the list. A person started a website. For $1 you could buy a single pixel on that website. The website had one million pixels to sell. It became a viral hit, and (wouldn’t you know it!) made the creator of the Million-Dollar Homepage a millionaire.
The stupidest on the list. The iFart App was one of the first apps that went absolutely viral on the iOS App Store. The app makes any phone into a mix of a Whoopee Cushion and a soundboard consisting 100% out of different fart noises. You could get the app for $0.99, and boy did people buy it a lot! The guy is a millionaire now.
Remember how Beanie Babies were a thing? At least those were toys. Gary Dahl, the inventor of Pet Rocks, has managed to make over $15 million in just six months with his idea of selling a rock to kids and calling it a pet. You could get a rock (in a nice box) for about $4. It comes on a little bed of hay. Every sale of a rock brought the inventor $3. He became a millionaire in no time!