Everybody has at least one idea that would make them a millionaire if they followed through on it, through the ups and downs, through the set backs and challenges, through the annoyances and frustrations, and through the daily grind of trying to start up a new business, often while continuing to work a full time job for money.
That problem is most people never pursue any of their ideas with this level of commitment and constant forward thrust. The result is a meager and ordinary life consisting of endless days of fighting the same battle over and over again in increasing desperation day after day, pushing back the moment they would have nothing a month from now or three months from now if they stopped working today, pushing back that moment they would have nothing tomorrow if some major unplanned expense suddenly hit them out of nowhere and capsized their boat.
Pushing that moment back by just one day as another day passes, always dreading, and worrying about, and losing sleep over that monster of insolvency that is only two or three idle months or a couple strokes of misfortune away from swallowing them alive. Instead of pushing as hard as they can with all their might into the fight of their lives, the fight that would win all the days of future fights all in one epic victory and bury that threatening monster forever.
The reason I am sharing this post with you is to show you that it doesn’t matter how good your idea is. It will fail if you don’t push it with all your might, and persist, and persist, and persist to bring your idea to market, to learn from your mistakes, to dust yourself off and keep trying. Because these ideas are really stupid. And that didn’t stop these people from making fortunes off of them. The world does not reward people for their ideas. It rewards people who have some moxy.
So here it is. This idea was so stupid, they even called it “wacky” right in the name. It made someone $80 million by the time he was through with it.
1. Wacky Wall Walker
Millionaire: Ken Hakuta
Profit: $80 million in less than a year
Ken Hakuta’s idea for the Wacky Wall Walker wasn’t even his own idea. It was an idea he completely copied when his mom traveled to China and sent him back a wall walker in the mail.
It’s a sort of gooey toy that sticks to the wall just enough not to fall off of it, but not enough to stay stuck in one place. As soon as it unsticks, it rolls forward again and the next gooey leg sticks to the wall. And down it rolls or “walks” to everyone in the room’s delight.
Well, Hakuta secured the rights to start selling the toy in the United States, and begin distributing it around the Washington D.C. metro area. Sales were slow for a while (see that’s where most entrepreneurs give up), but Hakuta kept trying to grow his business until one day a Washington Post reporter saw one of these toys and wrote an article about it.
From there the Wacky Wall Walker spread like wildfire and became one of the biggest toy fads of the 1980s, selling more than 240 million units within a few months and making Hakuta a deep eight figure millionaire.