11 Ridiculous Inventions That Made a Lot of Money

Maybe people are calling your invention ridiculous. But if a "smile trainer," "goatee protector" and "pet rock" can all make money, so can yours.
Author, Profit First
April 08, 2013

Are all your friends laughing behind your back about your “ridiculous” product idea? Is your business idea so off the wall that your own mom won’t brag about it to her friends? Don't get discouraged; you're not alone. Here are 12 ridiculous products that made it to market and made money.

1. Doggles. If a dog really needed goggles to look out the window of a car, wouldn't just about every dog in the world would be blind by now? What’s next, dog wigs? Actually, those already exist. (Check out number 4)

2. The Magic 8 Ball. Chances are you have one of these. Even worse, chances are you have used it for serious decision making. “Should I stop using my Magic 8 ball?” “It is decidedly so.”

3. Pet Rock. The most ridiculous invention of all time might just be the Pet Rock. It isn't even an invention. It's a rock that comes in a box. Yet this business idea reportedly made $15 million in its first six months. The brainchild of Gary Dahl, your pet rock came with a booklet to teach it how to sit and stay. Its carrying box came with breathing holes to make sure your rock got enough air. (Note: I had one growing up. I cried when my mom told me it ran away. Hey! Wait a minute.)

4. Dog Wigs. Finally, your dog can look like Bob Marley or Shirley Temple. Go to your local costume store and you both can look like Bob Marley or Shirley Temple. It's either really cute, or really weird, depending on which way you look at it.

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5. Antenna Balls. The antenna ball isn’t just a weird decoration; it also permanently bends your car’s antenna. These popular balls “class up” any car, from a junker to brand new wheels.

6. My Excused Absence. The site with this product has subsequently been shut down, but not before making a boatload of money. Fake doctors notes. Fake dead family members. Fake jury duty. This product allowed you to create a fraudulent excuse to miss work.

7. The Happy Smile Trainer. Have you forgotten how to smile? With just five minutes a day, this gizmo will teach you how to show those pearly whites all over again.

8. Goatee Saver. Are you clueless about how to shave your face? This handy gadget will save you from messing up that goatee of yours. They should have taken this product one step further to integrate a crumb protector.

9. Tamagotchi. Your own virtual pet. It pees, it poops, it gets sick and even throws up. All the “joys” of your own pet, but since it's virtual you can’t even really pet it. This ridiculous toy continues to be ridiculously popular. As a result, demand for real pets has declined.

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10. The Beer Belly and Wine Rack Bra. These are his and hers alcohol concealers, designed to be hidden under clothing. His is beer belly shaped and will make him look like he’s actually got a beer belly; hers is a bra that holds wine, or her favorite drink.

11. The Nose Straightener. Why waste your money on an expensive nose job when “The Electric Beauty Lift High Nose Vibrator” can do the same thing for less in the privacy of your own home? Comes in hot pink.

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