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May 28, 2009

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I have a candidate for a 9th item... paying to have a star named for you.

There are just some ideas that are too stupid to fail, strangely enough.
And sometimes there are just people who are too ignorant to know that an idea is stupid, and they end up making millions.
My wife and I were commenting on this one time while watching The Big Idea, with Donnie Deutsche (sp?). There were some guys who started a business selling T-shirts out of the back of their van at WWF or Ultimate Fighting events, just to make enough to pay for their trips. No one told them it would never work, and they ended up with millions in revenue. I'd have had to have done a full feasibility study and written up a business plan before I even attempted something that "stupid."

I agree with Paul - can't believe people buy that! But then, what can I say, I really liked Garbage Pail Kids.. still have my trading cards from 20 years ago!

I was amazed to hear from a recent MBA graduate that the pet rock was "taught" in one of his MBA courses as a brilliant business idea.

My reaction was basically, "WTF!?" Silly me, I thought businessmen were primarily focussed on promoting useful projects and industries that have actual value!

In many ways, it is not a surprise that our economy has tanked.

@ Jon, It may have been the "Tapout" guys who are involved with mixed martial arts. They started selling t-shirts out of their trunk as you said. Their company generated $120 million in revenue last year according to their president. Unfortunately, one of the three founding members recently died in a car accident.

What about Whacky Wall Walkers? They did real well with that one too.

Garbage Pail Kids were great! They provided a great form of art & entertainment! They also included stickers, a puzzle out of the back of the cards, a hobby in collecting the sets and possibly a stick of gum?

The Snuggie. I don't think anyone under the age of 70 would buy this product, much less wear one in public, if the commercials were not so hilariously awful. As it is, I heard about people doing "Snuggie pub crawls" here in Seattle. Apparently it's a country-wide thing, too: http://www.snuggiepubcrawls.com/

Garbage Pail Kids were absolutely freaking brilliant, and anyone who thinks otherwise has no sense of humor.

I loved the mood ring when I was 12! It was THE accessory every tween girl had to have in the mid-70's. Sure, a dumb idea for an adult, although in the "pre new-age, after the hippy era" I'm sure quite a few adults bought them. A few items on the list did so well precisely because so many kids had to have them - pet rocks, chia pets, garbage pail kids, mood rings.

These ideas can't help but make you smile. Remembering the buzz surrounding each of those items makes us laugh when we look back on it. I guess it's a reminder that sometimes the craziest ideas go the furthest!

What exactly did the lunar property and pet rock buyers win?

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