The 12 Dumbest Business Ideas Of All Time (That Made Millions)

Stop pushing those seemingly dumb ideas to the trash as you read about twelve 'dumb' business ideas that made millions.
Author, Profit First
March 24, 2011
Ever have an idea for a new product or service enter your mind and quickly dismiss it, thinking it’s a dumb idea? Let me tell you, you need to stop pushing those seemingly dumb ideas away. They could be worth millions.
 
Here are 12 of the dumbest business ideas of all time, which actually made millions:
1.   The Pet Rock. This has to have been one of the dumbest ideas ever, yet it took off like nobody could have imagined. Selling for around $4 per rock, small rocks were sold in cardboard pet carriers, leaving the company founder to have the last laugh as he carried millions off to the bank.
 
2.   Flowbee. A vacuum haircut. Really? Come on, you know someone was playing around with the vacuum attachments and got hooked, literally!
 
3.   Mood rings. Need confirmation about what type of mood someone is in? The mood ring had it covered, when it became a fad in the 1970s. The ring’s stone was made of materials that would change color according to the body heat it came in contact with.
 
4.   Snuggie. Being wrapped up in a blanket on the couch on a cold winter’s day wasn’t good enough. No, we needed it to have sleeves! Turns out the creator had an idea that got 25 million people to purchase blankets. Twenty-five million!

 
5.   Chia Pet. This is that thing we all make fun of, yet purchase when we need a last-minute gift for someone. We may laugh as we make the purchase, but millions have been sold, over the years.
 
6.   The Million Dollar Homepage. Selling an online homepage filled with 1 million pixels at a dollar per pixel seems like a crazy and un-doable idea. But it was done. One single homepage has generated the person behind the idea a cool million bucks, with basically zero overhead to boot.
 
7.   The Clapper. Clap your hands and a light goes on and off? Yes, it seems nuts to me, too, but millions of people have purchased them.
 
8.   Santa Mail. Just having kids write to Santa wasn’t enough. Some brilliant entrepreneurs decided that, for around $10, they would write back, posing as the man in red himself. With hundreds of thousands of parents taking part each year, these letters are making a bundle.
 
9.   Doggles. For centuries, dogs got around just fine without sunglasses. But now, for $20, your dog can have their very own outdoor eyewear.
 
10.   The fake foot. Ever been driving down the road and see one of those fake feet hanging out of  the trunk of the car in front of you? Yup, someone paid for that—about $10—helping to make  someone else crazy rich.
11.   The Whoopee cushion. This is one that has stood the test of time. This practical joke is known  from sea to sea, and has been selling non-stop since first hitting the mass market in the 1930s.
12.   Antenna Balls. Next time you drive down the highway, check out how many antenna's have balls attached to the end of them. From smiley faces, to mini-basketballs and baseballs, these things adorn countless antennas. The founder got the idea from SUV drivers who put tennis balls  on their antenna to protect it from snapping around when entering garages. Now, this entrepreneur is making millions.
 
What all this demonstrates is that it really doesn’t matter whether you think an idea is dumb. What matters is whether there is a market for it! Even some of the dumbest business ideas you can conjure up have a market and will bring in millions. So, think what you want—dumb may not be so dumb after all! 
 
Author, Profit First