5 Dumb Ideas That Made Millions

Have you ever watched television and an As Seen On TV infomercial or commercial popped up with something for $19.95 or $9.95?  Of course you have.   Did the commercial make you think that the product was the dumbest thing that you had ever seen?  Did it then occur to you that someone would probably make millions of dollars from that one product?

I know that I have.  One extra stupid commercial for the Bacon Wave got me thinking about some more dumb things that made people rich.  I couldn’t resist putting together my own list of 5 dumb ideas that made people extra rich.  Enjoy.

  1. The Blanket With Sleeves
    I have to start with the Snuggie. It’s a cheap, polyester blanket with sleeves worn backwards, that also has the effect of making you look like an extra in a B-movie cult film. The best part is that while the Snuggie might be popular, they copied the idea from a small business owner. We might laugh at the commercials (have you seen the Macarena one?) but the company is laughing all the way to the bank with something like 4-5 million sold. That’s at a price of $19.95 plus shipping and handling.  Personally, I think they ripped off Yoda.  Let’s not leave your pets out, because there’s a Snuggie for dogs too.
  2. Billy Bob Teeth
    Halloween is coming and costume stores will be popping up.  You might have used Billy Bob Teeth to complete your costume without realizing it.  This company makes teeth overlays to make it appear as if you have (usually) bad teeth.  I want to slap myself every time I see these things because I know that they probably cost 50 cents to make in China but they sell here start at $9.99 here.  Someone is wearing those fake teeth all the way to the cashier window, and it’s not me.
  3. The Pottery That Grows
    Ch-ch-ch-chia!  You’ve seen the commercials.  You spread some seeds on the outside of a figure (President Obama head anyone) or sprinkle them in a small pot, water it, and then it magically grows!  Chia seeds are actually edible (maybe not the ones that come with your “pet”) and are high in Omega-3 fatty acids.  You can find the seeds or chia flour at your local health food stores.  A chia pet is about $17.99 at your local drug store.  A pound of high quality organic chia seeds is around $15 retail.  You get just a few ounces  with your “pet” and they pay wholesale.  By the way, those chia seeds will grow on just about any surface.  Drop some onto a plate, add water and watch them grow. Man, am I in the wrong business.
  4. Slip ‘n Slide
    If you were a kid in the last three decades, then you know this one.  It’s the Slip ‘n Slide.   For those of you that have no clue what this is, it’s a long, thin piece of plastic to which you attach your garden hose.  Somewhere in the plastic are little holes that allows water to escape and the plastic to get wet.  You’re expected to take a running start and leap onto this wet plastic and slide your way to heaven.  Well, not you, but your kid is.  Now, I think of myself as a smart person, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of putting down a tarp, greasing or soaping it up to make it slippery, then setting my garden hose on it for hours of  fun, but someone else did, and now they’re rich.  I’m not mad.
  5. Oxiclean
    I bet that one surprised you, didn’t it?  Do you want to know what’s actually in the stuff?  It’s made from sodium percarbonate mixed with a bleaching agent called sodium carbonate (washing soda).  And here I thought my dual biology and chemistry degrees wouldn’t come in handy. You’re thinking that this must be some magic chemical?  Nope.  If  you own a pool, sodium percarbonate is the stuff that you drop in there to keep the pool clean.  You can get bucket loads of it for cheap.  When mixed together and dissolved in water, the two chemical form hydrogen peroxide in water.  Yes, good ‘ole hydrogen peroxide that you have in your medicine cabinet and sprinkle on cuts.  Hydrogen peroxide acts sort of like a bleach because it is a strong oxidizing substance.  You can make your own version of this at home with the following recipe:
    1 cup water
    1/2 cup baking soda (or washing soda for really bad stains)
    1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide

    You can find washing soda at your local hardware store.  Arm & Hammer makes some.

So that’s it folks.  Those are my top five.  Someone is going to disagree with me for some things on my list, but it’s my list!  You can also check out some more dumb ideas that made people rich. Can you think of some more dumb things that made someone a heck of a lot of money?

 

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37 Comments

  1. I <3 you for sharing the Oxi Clean combo! I use this stuff like crazy for stain removal and in my home made laundry detergent, but your method is cheaper. Hopefully it's just as effective! For as much as I make from scratch, this never occurred to me to even try.

    • I can’t stand the thing. My aunt actually bought everyone in my family one for Christmas. She thought it was the best thing! I passed mine along to a charity, but my little sister lives in the dang thing.

    • Agree, the snuggie is just too bulky. My opion come from seeing people. You want to know why it’s popular? Because it’s new, and onve someone that’s popular, in say a school setting, has one, then everyone else is like, “OMG I need one,” so they get one. Plain and simple logic. Most products made now-a-days a rich person, or someone with a lot of pocket change, buys one, then that influences the rest of the poor (no pun intended) suckers that, they indeed, need what ever the other person has. More like keeping up with the Jones’

  2. Ooooh, thanks for the “secret” to Oxiclean. I actually gave one of my coworkers a Snuggie a couple of years ago… she wanted one! She was always cold and loved hers and wore it so much that the snaps were falling off.

    • You know, now that you mention it a Snuggie might be hilarious to wear in my office. It’s always freezing in there. The ladies all have shawls and the men jackets, but I can imagine someone rolling on the floor if I walked by in a Snuggie.

  3. Ha ha, I used to stay up as a kid just to watch the stupid infomercials we got from the good ol’ USA…. They made me laugh more than any comedy show.

    Half of the kitchen appliances you can buy are plain dumb… Buys some pots, pans and knifes and you are about set!

    • I don’t think that I even had a decent set of pots until I was about 29. The big 3-0 was looming and I decided that I had to be an adult. Now, the one MUST HAVE kitchen appliance that I’ve been resisting for years, but really want is a rotisserie oven. Mmmmm, rotisserie chicken.

  4. Ha ha, I used to stay up as a kid just to watch the stupid infomercials we got from the good ol’ USA…. They made me laugh more than any comedy show.

    Half of the kitchen appliances you can buy are plain dumb… Buys some pots, pans and knifes and you are about set!

    • I don’t think that I even had a decent set of pots until I was about 29. The big 3-0 was looming and I decided that I had to be an adult. Now, the one MUST HAVE kitchen appliance that I’ve been resisting for years, but really want is a rotisserie oven. Mmmmm, rotisserie chicken.

  5. Yeah, these are dumb ideas, but they all made millions of dollars, didn’t they? Well, maybe not millions, but a ton of money! Any idea that makes a lot of money isn’t that dumb, i think. Remember the fad Pet Rock back in the days? How dumb was that?? But I bet the inventor made a ton of money off of it :P

    • It goes to show that you don’t have to be a genius, or have some revolutionary idea to make a fortune. I’m waiting for the stroke of idiocy to strike me with my million dollar idea.

      • haha, yeah me too. i’m waiting for a dumb idea to make a fortune as well. but i think my brain is too smart to come up with such dumb idea..hehe..

  6. Yeah, these are dumb ideas, but they all made millions of dollars, didn’t they? Well, maybe not millions, but a ton of money! Any idea that makes a lot of money isn’t that dumb, i think. Remember the fad Pet Rock back in the days? How dumb was that?? But I bet the inventor made a ton of money off of it :P

    • It goes to show that you don’t have to be a genius, or have some revolutionary idea to make a fortune. I’m waiting for the stroke of idiocy to strike me with my million dollar idea.

      • haha, yeah me too. i’m waiting for a dumb idea to make a fortune as well. but i think my brain is too smart to come up with such dumb idea..hehe..

  7. I do love oxy-clean, and my kids love the slip-n-slide. Actually, I have a park in my backyard with a big hill. It’s actually a bowl. About 10 teens one day laid out a huge thing of plastic in the rainstorm and were sliding down the hill into the skanky water collecting in the water. It looked hilarious. (Not sure why I shared that.)

    I am always drawn to that darn Topsy Turvy tomato planter, but I have heard you have to water it every 5 seconds to ensure the plants don’t die. Don’t know why I am lured because my tomatoes grow just fine in the ground.

    • See, the kids created their own slip n slide and it was almost free!

      You can make the topsy turvey yourself out of 2 liter bottles, a bag or a regular renter with a hole cut in the bottom. Here’s a good one from Youtube.

  8. I do love oxy-clean, and my kids love the slip-n-slide. Actually, I have a park in my backyard with a big hill. It’s actually a bowl. About 10 teens one day laid out a huge thing of plastic in the rainstorm and were sliding down the hill into the skanky water collecting in the water. It looked hilarious. (Not sure why I shared that.)

    I am always drawn to that darn Topsy Turvy tomato planter, but I have heard you have to water it every 5 seconds to ensure the plants don’t die. Don’t know why I am lured because my tomatoes grow just fine in the ground.

  9. It is amazing that the simplest of ideas can turn into big money makers. I saw your post over at the Yakezie site. Keep blogging!

  10. It is amazing that the simplest of ideas can turn into big money makers. I saw your post over at the Yakezie site. Keep blogging!

  11. What about the tummy gadget that giggles the “fat” off your mid-section? That was another stupid idea that may not have been as popular as the Snuggie, but definitely just as dumb!

  12. i came across another one just the other day that you missed.
    personalautograph.com

    people are knowingly purchasing fake celebrity autographs!

  13. i came across another one just the other day that you missed.
    personalautograph.com

    people are knowingly purchasing fake celebrity autographs!

  14. I have to disagree about the slip and slide. I think that is a wonderful product. My winner for the dumbest idea is the pet rock or even the buy a star for a loved one idea. Those are by far worse ideas than any you have listed.

  15. I have to disagree about the slip and slide. I think that is a wonderful product. My winner for the dumbest idea is the pet rock or even the buy a star for a loved one idea. Those are by far worse ideas than any you have listed.

  16. why is it so hard to have my ideas . i have in my head how can i get paid for them everyone i see gets paid for a dumb idea . but i have good one’s from movies ideas to tv shows and tv commerials for companys like ford i can come up with better one’s i got ideas for ford and all the others car makers . i got some ideas for stihl for their power equipment to make them better . i just need to know who to talk to where to go and get a contract with them i want to get paid someone help me out they will get paid too

  17. why is it so hard to have my ideas . i have in my head how can i get paid for them everyone i see gets paid for a dumb idea . but i have good one’s from movies ideas to tv shows and tv commerials for companys like ford i can come up with better one’s i got ideas for ford and all the others car makers . i got some ideas for stihl for their power equipment to make them better . i just need to know who to talk to where to go and get a contract with them i want to get paid someone help me out they will get paid too

  18. Agree, the snuggie is just too bulky. My opion come from seeing people. You want to know why it’s popular? Because it’s new, and onve someone that’s popular, in say a school setting, has one, then everyone else is like, “OMG I need one,” so they get one. Plain and simple logic. Most products made now-a-days a rich person, or someone with a lot of pocket change, buys one, then that influences the rest of the poor (no pun intended) suckers that, they indeed, need what ever the other person has. More like keeping up with the Jones’

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