The simplest ideas are often the best. And they can also provide baking with money. Think of the ‘Slinky’, also known as the traploper, who could have thought that a simple metal spring would become so popular as a toy? Or even easier, the frisbee, a simple round plastic disc. The following ten simple ideas are almost all ‘accidentally’ conceived, and the inventors have delivered millions:
The Frisbee was invented by Walter Frederick Morrison in 1948. He came up with the idea when he and his girlfriend threw a lid of a can of popcorn to kill time. He called his product the “flying-saucer” and later the “Pluto Platter”. In 1957, the idea was bought by Wham-O, which marketed the product in 1958 as the Frisbee. The name is a reference to the bakery “Frisbie Pie”. The aluminum cake molds of this store were used by students to frisbee. The inventor of the Frisbee had already earned half a million in royalties in 1970. In 2012 more than 300 million frisbees were sold worldwide.
The Hula hoop was also developed by “Wham-O”. Someone had seen children play with bamboo hoops in Australia. “Wham-O” made them from PVC and in the late 1950s a true craze developed. In two years time more than 100 million Hula hoops were sold.
The invention of the famous yellow Post-it was a special combination of circumstances. The special glue, which sticks, but also easily released, was developed by researcher dr. Spence Silver from 3M. However, the aim of the study was to make a very strong adhesive, and the invention was therefore not used. Until Art Fry, also an employee at 3M, got frustrated by the bookmarks that consistently fell out of his choirbook. He had a eureka moment and came up with the idea to use Silvers glue to make reliable bookmarks, the Post-it. In the first year (1974), $ 2 million was directly earned, in 2012 it was more than $ 1 billion.
The Band-Aid, or plaster, was invented in 1920 by Earle Dickson, researcher at Johnson & Johnson. His wife Josephine cut himself regularly during cooking. He came up with a way to cover the wound without assistance. The first patches were handmade and not very successful, only when machines were made in 1924 to produce sterilized Band-aids began to sell the plasters. During World War II, Band-aids became really popular. In 2001 more than 100 billion Band-Aids were sold worldwide!
De Slinky, better known in the Netherlands as a “trapper”, was invented in 1943 by naval engineer Richard James when he dropped a tension spring on the ground. The spring happily hopped up and down and that’s how James came up with the idea of one of the most popular toy items. The first 400 stair cutters were in stores just before Christmas in 1945, and sold out in no time. In 2012 more than 250 million Slinky’s were sold.
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
Kellogg’s company is currently a multinational. They are the number one producer of cereals worldwide, and they sell their product in more than 180 countries. In 1894 it was different, when the brothers Doctor John and Will Kellogg accidentally devised corn flakes. A pot of boiled wheat was forgotten and stood on the stove for a few days. Despite the fact that the substance was dehydrated, they decided not to throw it away, but to process it with rolling pins. To their surprise, they did not become long sheets of dough, but flakes. These were toasted and fed to the patients.
In 2002, three friends developed the Crocs as a shoe for the Sauna. They could never have predicted that the shoe would become a mega hype. In 2011 she achieved a turnover of more than $ 1 billion per year. Crocs are sold in more than 90 countries.
Velcro, better known as Velcro, was conceived by the Swiss Georges de Mestral. He wanted to know in 1941 why it is so hard to get the tangles out of his dog’s fur. Under the microscope he discovered that tangles have small hooks with which they hook into the fur. He immediately sees the possibilities, and develops Velcro. In 1998, $ 93 million was earned. In 2012, Velcro is sold in more than 40 countries.
The Smiley has raised millions, but the money did not go to the creator Harvey Ball. He never got the smiley market and only received $ 45. The millions went to the brothers Bernard and Murray Spain, between 1970 and 1972 they sold over 50 million knick-knacks with smileys on it, estimated to have earned $ 500 million.
“SPANX, figure corrective mode that brings comfort and shaping at the same time”. Designed in 1998 by Sara Blakely when her tight pants did not sit well with ordinary underwear. She cut off the bottom of tights and put it under her tight white pants. Thanks to her solution, women never have to suffer from “Grid Butt”. She started her business with only $ 5,000. In 2012 the company was worth more than $ 1 billion and Spanx is sold in more than 40 countries, including the Netherlands .