Throughout history, society has made incredible technological advancements thanks to the gifted minds of inventors. Thankfully, there’s no shortage of creatives who are hard at work trying to come up with things that will make your life easier.
Yet not all inventions are created equal. Some, like the Ford Model T, are immediate hits and change the world almost overnight. Other less conventional ones take more time to gather an audience.
These 11 inventions are perfect examples of the latter. Sure, they weren’t initially welcomed with much fanfare, but they eventually made their inventors loads of cash!
1. Toilet lights: An oft-overlooked (and sadly underestimated) market for inventions is the toilet. People commonly wake up in the middle of the night to tinkle, so it should come as no surprise that the IllumiBowl 2.0 was eventually invented. This motion-activated light illuminates the bowl so you can use the restroom in the dark. Of course, the bright colors let you simultaneously pretend you’re at a rave. Guess it gives new meaning to “party pooper,” huh?
2. Buncho Balloons: This invention can be used by children to fill hundreds of water balloons all at once, and it was a major success on Kickstarter. In total, it raised $929,160 to get off the ground and it can now be found in retail stores worldwide.
3. Potato salad: Believe it or not, this started out as an idea to show that anyone can raise money to get an insane idea funded. The creator, Zack Brown, launched a campaign to fund making… potato salad. Sounds crazy, right? Well, money talks, and 7,000 people eventually donated $55,000. Let’s hope it was as delicious as it was expensive.
4. MaKey MaKey Go: This flash drive-esque keychain might not look like much, but rest assured, it’s got some incredible uses. In fact, it has the ability to turns any electricity-conducting object into a mobile keyboard… really. This includes food items, like a slice of pizza or even steak.
5. Amabrush: Let’s be honest: brushing your teeth is tedious, so the automatic toothbrush was pretty much inevitable. When placed in the user’s mouth, it brushes their teeth to completion in just 10 seconds. Best of all, you do nothing!
6. Pi Pie pans: While this idea may seem a little on the the nose for some, it’s a huge hit. Invented by geometry fan Garrett Heath, this product has since become a massive success with math nerds everywhere. After launching a Kickstarter, he eventually earned $17,500 and turned his dreams into reality.
7. Cat skeleton candles: Invented by Thorunn Arnadottir, an Icelandic designer, this cat-shaped candle reveals a metallic skeleton as it burns. In total, she raised more than $100,000 to launch the product, and has since released many other animal candles.
8. Grizzly bear coats: Made from faux fur, this hooded bear costume became a gigantic success not long after it launched. When the idea was shared on Kickstarter, its inventor hoped to raise $2,500. A short while later, he’d raised $29,000!
9. The everlasting birthday card: What appears to be a normal everyday birthday card from the outside quickly transforms into the most annoying product you’ve ever seen. That’s because, once opened, it will not stop playing music. No matter what. For nearly three hours. Amazingly, when launched, it raised $92,000.
10. “The World’s Most Super Amazing 100% Awesome Cat Calendar”: Initially launched with a goal of raising $3,500, these quirky calendars earned creators Brennan Groh and Kate Funk $25,000. Now in its sixth year, the product has been a hit with cat lovers everywhere since.
11. The LICKI brush: Sure, an invention that allows you to imitate licking while playing with your cat might be a completely off-the-wall idea, but it’s a huge success. In fact, this mock cat tongue raised $52,000 to launch it into reality.
These inventions might be rather unconventional, but the fact that they turned their inventors into millionaires should go to show that every idea deserves further exploration!
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