Lighthouse Logo FBChallenges1For entrepreneurs a good idea can be everything! Even though the chance of success is minimal, these ideas give them something to aspire to (not to mention, some of these ideas make people obscenely rich!) If you're waiting for the ingenious idea to inspire you, some good advice is to dumb it down!

This month we thought we would welcome the festive seasons with a few laughs – here are a few (what seem like) ridiculous ideas that came with even more ridiculous success! Maybe you'll be inspired?



Day 1:           The Pet Rock

Invented by Gary Dahl, the Pet Rock was a key innovation of the 1970s and pop culture fad that made its creator lots of money, and has continued to draw attention in the decades that followed. Reportedly Dahl stumbled onto his idea for the Pet Rock while talking to friends at a bar one night. During its peak, Dahl estimated he sold 1.5 million Pet Rocks for $3.95 each – not bad for quirky idea!


Day 2:            The Slinky

Inspired by an act of clumsiness, Richard James introduced the Slinky to the world after dropping a tension spring he was what working with and watched it "slink" away across the floor. He debuted the toy in 1945 and within 90 minutes sold 400 items. A quarter of a billion sales later, the $1 toys and its creator lived very comfortably ever after.


Day 3:            Beanie Babies

The Beanie Babies empire was cleverly built by creator H. Ty Warner; while many of the big players in the toy industry laughed at Ty's idea for under-stuffed animals he soon proved them wrong when 30,000 were sold at the first toy show in Atlanta, USA. He never advertised his products or sold them in major chain stores, while retiring certain models once initial stock had sold out making the toys harder to obtain and therefore more desirable! Very clever!


Day 4:            The Snuggie

Oh yes, the snuggie! You either have one, or want one. According to inventor Scott Bolien, the real brilliance behind the Snuggie was its marketing – the product was sold in ridiculous infomercials because (according to Scott) the product itself is ridiculous, so why not advertise it in a ridiculous way! So far the Snuggie has profited over $200 million in sales.


Day 5:            Tamagotchi

Prompting a huge 90s craze, this pet simulation device was perfect for kids (and even adults) who couldn't look after a real pet. More than 70 million Tamagotchis have been sold since its launch – at its peak one Tamagotchi was being sold EVERY SECOND!


Day 6:            Billy-Bob Teeth

In 1993 Jonah White watched Rich Bailey try to pick up girls while wearing ugly false teeth, the pair eventually teaming up and creating the Billy-Bob teeth business. Since then over 20 million units have been sold resulting in over $40 million in sales – with the inspiration of ugly false teeth!


Day 7:            The Singing Fish

At some point we've all experienced an animatronic fish like Big Mouth Billy Bass or Rocky Rainbow Trout singing at us from a wall. The singing fish was originally created by a Texas novelty toy company in the late 90s, and by the start of the 2000s stores were selling hundreds each hour and struggled to keep up – in just 2000 alone sales reached over $1 million.


Day 8:             The Plastic Wishbone

Saddened by the fact only two people can make a wish over the Christmas turkey, Ken Ahroni started a company that produces fake wishbones. The company now produces 30,000 plastic bones a day with sales reported at over $2.5 million per year.


Day 9:             The Koosh Ball

Looking for a ball that his kids could easily catch, Koosh Ball inventor Scott Stillinger tied a few rubber bands together as strands surrounding a soft rubber core. Little did he know he had a million dollar idea on his hands! After making millions of his own, Stillinger sold the Koosh Ball to toy giant Hasbro in 1997 for more than $100 million and remains on the market today.


Day 10:           Velcro

George de Mestral's idea for Velcro was inspired by burrs from plants sticking to his pants. He noticed how each burr had tiny hooks that fastened to the small hoops of his trouser fabric and realised he could create the same effect with artificial materials. Today Velcro is sold all over the world and has a revenue of around $100 million every year.


Day 11:           Crocs

Originally the plastic clog was designed to be worn in the spa thanks to its air holes. After their first showing, the shoes sold out every pair and the creator saw the potential to market crocs as a conventional piece of clothing. At one point the company was said to have made around $1 billion in a single year!


Day 12:           Post-it Notes

The idea for the post-it note came about while Dr. Spence Silver was researching new types of strong glue but accidentally created an adhesive that was capable of sticking securely but also detaches easily. This led to the birth of the post-it note and has since made more than $1 billion.


Day 13:           The $1 Million Homepage

In 2005 Alex Tew created the $1 million homepage as a way to try and pay for his education. The homepage was made up of a million pixels and he sold each pixel to any company or brand for $1 in $100 minimum blocks. The idea was that people would pay to be on the page for exposure and a link. Unsurprisingly word got around and the homepage started to generate publicity. Within five months the homepage hit its target!


Day 14:            Pillow Pets

The idea for Pillow Pets dawned on Jennifer Telfer after watching her young sons smash down their stuffed animals to sleep on them like a pillow. She and her husband decided to wholesale the product themselves in 2003 and started selling at a mall kiosk during the holiday season. By the end of that year they sold out. In less than seven years of its existence the cuddle toy has since exploded, making over $300 million in sales by 2010.


For some helpful advice, visit the Lighthouse Facebook page for online articles and resources to help you complete the daily challenges.