10 Brilliantly Stupid Billion Dollar Sales Ideas

products worth billions

Image Source: Forbes.com

Most products start as solutions to problems. If you don’t believe that statement, spend a few hours watching the show, ‘Shark Tank.’ Simply, people had an issue and needed to resolve it, so they came up with a system, then perfected it.

For example, you’ll see everything from fire hydrant hose attachments that increase the speed of water delivery to garbage can lids that raccoons can’t access showcased. Some of the solutions have a high market value, others aren’t popular enough to impress the investors. In other sales words, a product solves the pain of a prospect.

The point is, whatever you want to sell, it has to universally solve a problem for the people who want to buy it. And that is exactly how every single one of the stupidly brilliant ideas we’re going to share started out:

Most women are very aware of the lines their underwear leave under clothes. Sara Blakely solved the problem by cutting the feet off her panty hose (i.e. stockings) and wearing them under white jeans.

In other words, if you’ve got lumps, bumps or unsightly lines, Spanx gives women a smooth body-line under their clothes. If you’ve seen tight dresses on actresses, this concept is exactly how they manage to look put together — not to mention a little more skinny thanks to the elastic properties of the product.

Have you heard of the tampon brand Kotex? During development of their popular pads, a thin gauze was developed. Company professionals took it to the next level, reinventing the material into a soft, disposable blend that would catch a running nose.

Corn Flakes
John and Will Kellog left a pot of corn porridge on the stove for several days. After scraping off the mold, they discovered crispy, delicious bits underneath. This concept was, um, boiled down to create this popular crunchy cereal.

What’s great about cereal? For those of us on the go, you can take it with you and eat it anywhere, anytime. The solution, then, served to help foster a busy, industrial lifestyle.

What should you do if your hymn book pages won’t stay open? Use a low-grade adhesive to mark the pages like Art Fry did. The beauty of Post-It is that they don’t hurt the pages, but keep your spot marked. Hallelujah!

Band Aid
After his wife cut herself in the kitchen one too many times, Earle Dickson came up with a strip that would stay put on the fingers. This other guy, Stanly Mason patented it. His solution for protecting small cuts became a success all over the world. But if you’re wondering, spiderwebs were a common Civil War bandage, as well. Quite the upgrade, no?

When naval engineer Richard Jones dropped a spring, it started to bounce around, entertaining him. Slinky was born from this silly notion — though we admit it doesn’t solve any problems, it keeps folks amused for hours.

Under Armour
How do you keep yourself dry under a football uniform? The wicking properties of Under Armour were designed by football player Kevin Plank so he didn’t have to continue wearing wet cotton against his skin for hours. How’s that for a solution?

Need to pass time before Thanksgiving dinner? That’s how Walter Frederick Morrison and his girlfriend founded this toy; they threw around a popcorn tin lid while the turkey baked.

If you go to the spa, you might have reservations about wearing the standard issue footwear they provide. While a company was working to develop anti-bacterial plastic that could withstand the hot, wet conditions of a spa, they took the idea to the next level and started marketing Crocs, which were intended to be boating shoes. The name is based on the waterproof plastic they called croslite.

Who doesn’t know the story of George de Mestrel who got tired of removing briars from his clothes. He stuck the plant under a microscope one day and came up with a hook and eye system we know today as velcro.

Now, what’s your billion dollar idea? Hire sales trainer Noah Rickun to help sell it.

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