How to go from 0 to $1.5 M in six months by selling stones

Making money is easy if you have the right ideas, or is it?  Ridiculous ideas also work well for those who know how to sell.

We bring you some of the most useless products which became total hits  and made money for their owners until better sense prevailed, or maybe not!

Rock star

It was a success, not once, not even twice but thrice! In April 1975, Gary Dahl (the original creator of the pet rock), was in a bar listening to complaints from his friends about their pets when he came upon the idea of creating the perfect pet. Being an advertising executive he did it more as an experiment rather than creating an actual product. He sold them a rock! Gary did not have to work too hard for it. He even created an instruction manual for the pet rock. People were told the best part was that they need not feed, walk, bathe or groom this new pet. What’s more, the pet would live forever. The fad went on for six months and made Gary a millionaire.

But that was not all, it returned in 2012 and Gary sold the rights to a company known as Rosebud Entertainment which started selling it again.

millionaire

In a similar gimmick, ThinkGeek came up with an advanced version known as the USB pet rock.

Imagine a pet which does not need food or water, and doesn’t chew on your stuff? And to add to that it is the greenest USB product ever created, as it draws absolutely no electricity. It is compatible with all operating systems ever created and claims that it will never be outdated due to an advanced hardware and it does not needs any drivers too!

Did we tell you that it is a rock and sells for $10?

Ticket to heaven

In another attempt, a company started by Edgar Kim and Nate Davis is selling reserved spots in heaven, though they have received a lot of backlash for the idea. The benefits offered in the package are:

  • Official Reserve-a-Spot-in-Heaven reservation certificate.
  • Official Reserve-a-Spot-in-Heaven identification card.
  • Our informational guide to help you navigate your way. No GPS required here!
  • Our 100% money back guarantee if your reservation is not accepted.

We are not sure how many came back to get the 100% money back offer.

Developed by Armin Heinrich, I Am Rich was an app on iTunes, whose sole purpose was just to prove that you could afford such an app by buying it. The app did not do anything apart from showing a picture of a diamond. Soon there were other clones of the app in the Android store and Windows store as well.

A few people reportedly bought the app.

What a bestseller

Best is always reserved for the last. Shed Simove is a genius marketer and entrepreneur who has come up with a lot of ideas and makes sure he executes every whacky idea he gets. Some of his most famous ideas included 50 Shades of Grey — a 200-page book with four pages of each shade of grey (literally) going from light grey to dark grey. He continued selling this book until Random House (publishers of the bestselling book with the original title) sent him a notice.

‘What men think apart from sex’ — another book, which contained nothing but blank pages, also became an instant bestseller.

Do you think great marketing can help sell any kind of products, tell us in your comments?


Aditya Bhushan Dwivedi

Aditya Bhushan Dwivedi

A Software Engineer by education, Aditya has been a Workshop Consultant with The Times of India and later on was a Cloud developer with CSC India Pvt. Ltd. Apart from coding, he has a keen interest in analyzing stock market movements and often forgets the outer world once he starts reading. You can follow him on Google+ and Twitter at @adi_bhushan. You can reach out to him at aditya@yourstory.com".