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. 10 Silly Ideas That Made a Million

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

The people here are just ordinary folk who one day had a silly idea to make some money. In some cases these people never set out to become incredibly rich but to simply make some money to get by. The common denominator here is the fact that they never gave up in their struggle to make their dreams come true. Also, lack of education, environment and social background made no difference.


Every day people are bringing their winning ideas to the market and walking away with huge cheques. Why not you ?


Use these examples to inspire and motivate yourself.




1) Helping Son with Maths Makes Mother $Millions


Name: Judith Bliss.

Nationality: American.

Age: 48 yrs.

Foolish Idea: A computer game designed to help children learn maths. Judith's idea was to fuse an adventure story with math and quizzes- She called the game, 'Math Magic''

Start up capital: Unknown

Started own business - Mindplay. Sold Math Magic and went on to develop several

more computer games.


Judith Bliss was born into a family who were 'dirt poor'. Judith grew up realising how important a good education is. She studied hard and after getting a degree in maths at College, she got a job as a computer programmer'


But, her son was complaining he found school boring, while his teachers insisted that he just couldn't learn. However, Judith noticed her son, spent hours at his computer. It gave her an idea. What if she could create a programme, which combined adventures with solving mathematical equations? A computer game which made learning maths fun? So, she worked on a new programme.  It worked. Her son, David loved the programme and after just 3 months his grades improved. This made

Judith think if the game had helped her son. it would help other children. So, she started her own business.

Earnings: Tuscon-based company, Mindplay earned $1.4 million in revenues in its first year




2) £ Billions From a Box


Name: Ruben Rausing

Nationality: Swedish

Foolish Idea: A box that keeps drinks such as milk fresh.


Ruben patented his box shaped beverage container over 45 years ago. He marketed it through his business “Tetra Pak” turning it into one of the worlds largest and most profitable businesses. In the early eighties his sons took over the business. In 1991 one son sold his 50% share in the business and walked away with an estimated £3 billion.




3) Sharing Secrets Rockets Housewife to $750 Million


Name: Martha Stewart

Nationality: American

Age: 58

Foolish Idea: Instead of buying designer clothes, buy cheaper clothes that look like designer gear. When entertaining provide good food but not expensive. Martha passed her advice on through writing books and then went on to start her own company and publish her own magazine.

Earnings: In 1982 she wrote her first book “Entertaining” Her company, a television and publishing empire was floated on the stock market is 1999 for $750 million.




4) From Unemployed Mother to Top Author


Name: Joanne Rowling

Nationality: British

Age: 34

Foolish Idea: A skinny boy wearing large glasses called Harry Potter. This character is an orphan who escapes home to join a a school for witchcraft.

Start Up Capital: A few pounds


A divorced single mum, struggling by on state benefits, Joanne Rowling was desperate to get her and her baby daughter a better way of life. Unable to buy a computer to type the manuscript she paid a few pounds for a battered old type writer. After being rejected 12 times she finally found a publisher. Her first book was published in 1997 and stayed at the number spot on the New York Times best sellers list for 38 weeks

Earnings: As of April 2012 J K Rowling has a net worth of £560m ($910m) according to the Sunday Times UK Rich List. Rowling is the world’s richest author.




6) A £2,500 Loan to Stock Market Value of £100 million


Name: Dylan Wilk

Nationality: British

Age: 20 years old when started

Foolish Idea: Selling computer games by mail order

Start Up Capital: £2,500 loan from the princes trust


No bank would lend him the money because of his young age. So Dylan applied and was granted a £2,500 loan. Working from home in his first year his company Gameplay expanded quickly forcing him to move into a large warehouse. The business was run solely on a mail order. In 1999 the company was floated on the stock market for £88 million. Now in 2012 Dylan is the 9th richest person in England but spends much of his time helping to build houses for poor people in third world countries such as the Philippines where he met his wife.




7) Kid Friendly Frozen Food Bakes Up A Million


Name: Fran Lent

Nationality: American

Age: 42 years

Foolish Idea:  Prepackaged meals which are healthy and entice children to eat them, by using funny shapes and names

Start Up Capital: Her life savings of $130,000


Starting in her kitchen baking and using no artificial ingredients, Fran then marketed her healthy products by putting them into over 300 local stores. Supermarkets soon decided to stock her products. In 2002 her company made $2 million profit and were on track to $40 million within 5 years




8) Scribblings That made 12 million a Year


Name: Stephen Leahy

Nationality: British

Age: 47 years

Foolish Idea:  By scribbling down his ideas Steve created  TV games shows.

Start Up Costs: Unknown


In 1998, after devising 10 games for television, Stephen joined Action Time, the company produces shows from other people's ideas. Within a few years he had taken over the company.


Sales: Worldwide. Sold 'Catchphrase' to Japan. 'Lose a Million' to Pakistan. 'Body Heat' to Australia. 'Love at First Sight' to Russia - with 5 million viewers. 'Happily Divorced' to Germany. 'Divorce Me' to Spain and Italy.

Earnings: Royalties each time a programme is screened. Turnover is reputed to be 12 million a year.




9) How a Waffling Iron Started A $9Billion a year Business.

Name: Bill Bowerman

Nationality: American

Age: Died Christmas eve 1999, aged 88 years.

Foolish Idea:  Using a waffle iron to shape the sole of a shoe. Result – The Trainer.

In 1964 Bill Bowerman and Phil knight formed the company, Nike. From the back of a van they sold Bills prototypes at track and sports meets across America west coast.  The rest is history, now their sports trainers are sold worldwide with earnings of $9 billion a year.




10) £50,000 a Year from a Wheel-Nut Lock


Name: Roger Smith

Age: 58 Years

Foolish Idea: A wheel-nut lock which stops wheels coming off trucks.

As a lorry driver, Roger knew that at least ten people died every year when wheels become loose and come of trucks crashing into oncoming traffic. His life saving wheel-nut lock, prevents wheels coming off. The invention was taken up by distributors Kellet (UK) Ltd.

Earnings: Roger makes £50,000 a year in royalties




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