The story begins in 1975. Gary Dahl, senior sales manager, was drinking with his friends in a bar and listening to them complain about the difficulty of caring for their pets, which included hamsters, cats, and dogs. Animals ruined home furniture, got sick, died, brought dirt into the house, and it was generally impossible to leave them at home alone – in a word, pure annoyance, and headache.

Then Gary had a brilliant business idea: what does it sound like – a pet – a stone? Everything clever is simple: the best housemate is one who does not need to be looked after, monitored, fed, or cleaned. This inanimate object is ideal for the lead role. Friends laughed at this idea for a long time at first, but the deeper the general discussion went, the more benefits they saw in this stupid endeavor.

He doesn’t need to be fed, walked with, scratched, or taken to the veterinarian; he doesn’t attack anyone, get sick, or die. He spent two weeks writing a manual on how to care for such an unusual pet. The expenses were almost non-existent. Gary went to the nearest hardware store and selected the most expensive and beautiful stone on the market at the time. As a result, he spent the entire penny.

Soon after, another batch of stones and a straw bed were purchased. Dahl also created a package with small holes to allow the pet to breathe freely, as well as a small training manual. The majority of the commands – “sit,” “lie down” – pet stone could perform independently. However, a few simple actions, such as “roll,” required a little assistance from the owner. Many people thought this was a crazy idea, but it made the inventor a lot of money.

It’s time to deal with the marketing aspect of the problem. Gary went to a souvenir gift show and miraculously sold a large batch of stones in 500 pieces at an average price of $ 4 per piece. The entrepreneur then issued a brief press release, which he distributed to all of the world’s leading publications.

The first 700 boxes arrived in the gift shop the following month. The new product was then featured in Newsweek, and Gary, the business organizer, was able to “light up” on several television shows.

Obedient “pets” quickly gained popularity among the general public. Every day, over 2,000 stones were removed from the showcases. It turned out to be a fantastic gift, and it was covered in more than 75% of all American print publications. Despite the fact that the company only existed for 5 years (it is now closed), he became a millionaire. This is not surprising given that people value originality. Unusual souvenirs were purchased as gifts and for themselves, earning Gary over a million dollars.

Alexandra Reay

Alexandra Reay is an editor and regular contributor to the BrillAssignment project. She teaches on self-improvement, technology innovations, global education development, etc.