Some people spend years agonizing over a business idea before turning it into a reality, and then there are those entrepreneurs that are struck with a crazy notion and just go with it. While some of these off-the-wall ideas inevitably tank, some turn out to be perfectly, insanely brilliant. Read on for three of our favorites:
When Ed Mumm rented out construction equipment to clear land for his new home in Steamboat Springs, Colo., he had no idea how much fun he would have operating the heavy machinery – and decided he wanted to pass the joy along to others. He invested in construction equipment of his own and created a 5-acre sandbox for clients to drive, dig and operate the machines in. Today, he’s moved his sandbox from a more rural part of Colorado to the west’s ultimate playground, Las Vegas.
Chicken Diapers was founded by one of our own Arkansas residents – Ruth Haldeman from Hot Springs. She fashioned her first diapers from fabric scraps after taking in a couple of orphan chicks that had a habit of making messes in her home at inopportune times. She began selling her creation, and in her own words, “My little venture took on a life of its own…” Though we can’t find evidence Chicken Diapers is still in production, a few years ago Haldeman was receiving orders from all over the world.
Probably the most famous wacky business of all time, the idea for Pet Rocks was born after Gary Dahl had a joking conversation with some friends about how rocks would make better pets than cats and dogs, which require attention and inevitably make a mess. Instead of chalking up the idea to a silly conversation, like most would do, Gary began to sell and market rocks as pets, complete with a carrier case and training manual. The success of Pet Rocks was short-lived, but it still made enough money to allow Gary to retire in style before his fortieth birthday.