Howard Schultz, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks said, “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” This statement is especially true about many entrepreneurs that one comes across each day. Entrepreneurs often give their all in the pursuit of a good idea. That idea becomes their raison d’être and fills them with an extraordinary amount of hope. Let’s face it, not all great ideas will end up as resounding successes. But, the fact remains that one idea can inspire a person enough to make the individual move out of the routine of nagging bosses and meagre increments.
Everyone gets ideas – sure. If you set your mind to it, you can probably come up with one every few minutes. It takes longer to come up with million-dollar ones. But again, not everyone can give up the security of what they have to pursue the idea that makes them look at life from a different perspective. This is precisely what separates the average Jane or Joe from an aspiring entrepreneur. You might feel that only a handful of people have the guts and the ability to follow their ideas and launch their own businesses. But, the following numbers might give you second thoughts:
These numbers highlight that there are a lot more people out there who dare to follow their dreams than you might think. Many of these might be operating conventional businesses such as beauty salons, auto repair shops, restaurants etc. But, some individuals have also made money from some of the most bizarre ideas ever conceived.
If you’re on the road frequently and find that the shoulder strap of your car seatbelt is causing some discomfort, then you need a Tiddy Bear. This bear is a teddy bear strapped to the seatbelt and placed over the chest. It helps to keep the strap from digging into the skin. The brainchild of Dee Hoffman and Marcia Burke, the Tiddy Bear emerged when Burke, a breast cancer survivor, found that she needed additional levels of comfort from her car’s shoulder strap. This product eliminated the need to grin and bear issues of awkward and uncomfortable shoulder straps while driving. The Tiddy Bear also earned praise from Ellen DeGeneres. She termed it as ‘one of the best inventions ever found’. She certainly put her money where her mouth was. By gifting Tiddy Bears to the entire audience on her show, she used it to promote breast cancer awareness. Click here to view the infomercial.
Would you consider purchasing a blanket that had sleeves? Allstar Products Group, a direct response company, felt that people would. So, they aired their first infomercial in the fall of 2008. The Snuggie was by no means a unique product. But, a promotional blitz on television catapulted it into a phenomenon. The Snuggie did not merely appear on Oprah, Ellen and TODAY. Five years after its release, it has sold over 35 million units and earned over $500 million for its promoters. Interestingly, Allstar promoted 80 products in 2008. In the words of Scott Boilen, the president and CEO of Allstar, had the list been pruned down to 50, the Snuggie would not have made the cut. People with cold feet or hands probably loved the Snuggie. It certainly gave a different spin to the concept of ‘hands-free’. View the infomercial here.
Similar in appearance to a Bluetooth headset, this personal sound amplifier lets you amplify sounds from as far as 90 feet away. Marketed by Bell & Howell, this product can give you sonic hearing by amplifying sound by as much as 50db. For people with mild hearing loss, this lightweight product is a godsend. Some of the top retailers in the US such as CVS and Walgreens stock this product, thereby testifying to its high efficacy levels. With the Silver Sonic XL, people will always have their ear to the ground – even if it isn’t always apparent! Click here to view the infomercial.
The ShoeDini is a shoehorn with an adjustable, telescopic handle. Meant for people with arthritis or limited mobility, it can help people wear their shoes without having to bend over. Moreover, it works on all styles of shoes too. You can purchase this inexpensive product from major retailers such as Sears, Kmart and Best Buy. Houdini might not approve of the name. But then it’s doubtful that he would ever have needed this. You can view the infomercial here.
When a product sells over two million units and earns you about $40 million in sales, it’s no laughing matter, right? Wrong. The countless parodies of the Shake Weight that abound on YouTube prove otherwise. The product by itself is merely a modified dumbbell that oscillates in an up-and-down direction. The female version of the product weighs 2.5 pounds, while the male version weighs five pounds. Based on vibration plate technology, the vibrations of this product help in toning the upper biceps, triceps and shoulders. Tested on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and This Morning, many people continue to remain undecided about the perceived benefits of the product. But, whether it does any wonders for you physically or not, the sexual innuendo associated with the ad will certainly improve your sense of humor. Click here to view the infomercial.
Many people don’t exactly have sports on their mind when they visit a restroom. The Potty Putter has made quite a few people amend this notion. Comprising a putter, a cup with a flag and two golf balls, this product has been available in Walmart and Sears for years now. Ideal for golfing aficionados who cannot get enough time to practice on the greens, this product lets people practice their putting while on the toilet. So, if you ever happen to see a ‘Do Not Disturb’ hanging from your bathroom door, remember the occupant is merely aiming and shooting. View the infomercial here.
If you’ve got a bone to pick with someone, try these wishbones. They only have a lifecycle of about 12 seconds. So, you can open the package, use the wishbone and then dispose of it. Priced at $4 for a pack of four wishbones, you can fight with these at just about any dinner. The packaging and the wishbones are both recyclable. More importantly, these wishbones do not give vegetarians an excuse to avoid fighting any more. The company typically produces about 30,000 plastic wishbones daily. So, don’t worry about running out of wishbones.
This product entered the markets back in 1984-85. They say music is the voice of the soul. But, the person who dreamed up this product probably wanted music to be the voice of your clothes. Priced at $34.95, this vest was ideal for listening to music at any time. All you needed to do was to wear it while you were jogging, exercising, shopping, taking the dog for a walk etc. You might wonder what the cleaning costs might amount to? Well, the speaker system in the vest utilized waterproof technology. So, your vest would not experience any problems during cleaning whatsoever. This might be music to your ears. But, be warned. This product is no longer available. But, if you’re keen on getting a similar item, click here. Or, if you want to see what the Music Vest looked like, click here.
Distributed via the App Store, the iFart Mobile is an application for the Apple iOS. When you press a button after launching the app, you can play some colorfully-named sounds of flatulence from the given selection. You can play the sound at an ordained time. Or, you can even set the phone to play the sound if someone picks up your phone. Launched in December 2008, the app reached the top spot on the application charts before Christmas 2008. On Christmas Day 2008, it had generated $30,000 worth of revenue with over 40,000 sales. The app continued to occupy the top slot for three more weeks and stayed in the top ten, until mid-January 2009. By that time, the app had sold over 350,000 copies. This app certainly raised the bar (and a stink) for other apps. View the infomercial here.
Also called the Hula Chair, this chair aimed at getting couch potatoes or workaholics to work out, without leaving their chairs. At first glance, the Hawaii Chair looks like any other desk chairs that you might have come across. But, the seat rotates in a circular motion. So, anyone sitting on this chair will start simulating the movements of a hula dancer. The makers claim that the chair helps in strengthening the sitter’s abdominal muscles, slimming the waist and improving the blood circulation. But, some people have found that the rotating motion of the chair (at 2,800 revolutions per minute) is quite similar to a mechanical bull or a carnival ride. The Hawaii Chair featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. But, if she was a fencesitter at the time, she definitely changed her tunes when she found pouring a glass of water while sitting on the chair to be a stretch. To see a similar product, click here. Or, click here to view the original infomercial.
This is an electrically powered vacuum cleaner attachment used for cutting hair. Developed by San Diego carpenter, Rick Hunts, in the late 1980s, this hair-clipping device attaches to a vacuum cleaner. Thereafter, users can use this product for cutting their curls. A product that assumed legendary proportions, it even spawned a rival that went by the name of “Suck Kut”. The film Wayne’s World even did a spoof on this device. But, by the year 2000, Hunts had sold more than two million units. Among other things, you can use this device to groom dogs with long hair too. So, if you’re having a bad hair day, you could do a lot worse than getting this device and resolving your problem. You could view the infomercial here.
If you cannot do without your aviator glasses, why do you assume that your dog can? To remedy the problem, purchase Doggles. Doggles is the first and only eye protection designed and created for dogs. Besides goggles, the makers also provide various tough, durable and green dog toys. All models of Doggles have flexible and snug-fitting frames fitted with foam padding against the face. They feature adjustable elastic head and chin straps for keeping the goggles secure. And, they come with shatterproof and anti-fog lenses. If you want to protect your canine from foreign objects, the wind and ultraviolet light, purchase one of these. Roni Di Lullo came up with this idea when she spotted her dog (Midknight) squinting in the sunlight. In the first years, Doggles generated $100,000 in terms of revenue. By 2004, more than 4,500 shops spread across 16 countries were selling Doggles. The sales volume of last year touched the $3 million mark. Talk about seeing things from a fresh perspective…
If you like fishing and listening to the birds singing, you might develop a fondness for Big Mouth Billy Bass. This animatronic singing prop resembles a largemouth bass. Invented in 1998, the body of the fish features latex rubber with a plastic mechanical skeleton inside. The fish does not merely sing songs such as ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ or ‘Take Me to the River’. It can turn its head to face you and wiggle its tail to the beat as well. Needless to say, people took to this product like a fish takes to water. In fact, you could even consider using this to complement your state-of-the-art security system. Not convinced? Perhaps, this report might convince you. In addition to being a cultural sensation, Billy appeared as a guest star on The Sopranos. Billy also served as the muse for this bizarre commercial for McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish in 2009. To view the original infomercial, click here
Guy Kawasaki, the founder of AllTop said, “Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” This is especially true about small businesses. It is common knowledge that nine out of 10 startups end in failure. The top reason for the failure of these startups is the lack of a market need for the product or service offered by the startup. Many businesses also fold up because they lack adequate capital for functioning. Don’t let this happen to your dream. As shown above, even the simplest of ideas can yield a pot of gold. So, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with an idea looking for funds, come to us at Midwest Corporate Credit.
We connect small business owners with the financing they require. Moreover, we deal with all the time-consuming paperwork between the lenders and the borrowers. As a result, you can focus entirely on making your venture successful, without having to worry about your funding. We analyze and compare date of some of the country’s leading institutionalized lenders who have business needs that meet the demands of our clients. Thereafter, we cross reference this with the historical data of past clients. This enables us to ascertain the financing mix that offers the best results for any small business. It’s hardly surprising that our approval efficiency is as high as 97 percent, given our meticulousness and efficiency. To get a funding estimate, click here.