Sometimes the greatest ideas have the simplest start: Earl Dickinson invented the band-aid because his wife was a klutz. Caresse Crosby came up with the bra because her bust was too big for traditional corsets. Rene Laënnec created the stethoscope because he didn’t want to touch women’s busts.
Great ideas also come from people of all age groups, and there’s perhaps no better example than Abbey Fleck. She was eight years old when she had an idea that would make her a multimillionaire.
You might remember Abbey from back when her “Makin’ Bacon” kitchen tool exploded in the early 90s. A simple idea (the prototype was made of coat hangers and wooden dowels), Makin’ Bacon made it possible to cook those delectable strips of breakfast meat upright in the microwave, keeping them from simmering in grease and becoming a soggy mess.
Abbey and her family fought hard for their success, which by no means came overnight. Rejections were countless, and it would have been easy to give up and eat their bacon alone in the dark. Luckily for them, a rep at Armour bacon company was smart enough to take this little powerhouse seriously. It wasn’t long before little Fleck was on press tours with the likes of Oprah and Letterman.
If you have an innovation that you think could be a success, then follow Abbey’s lead and remember these three important lessons:
- Great businesses solve problems
- Don’t dismiss silly ideas
- Be aggressive with your marketing
In other words, heed the Fleck mantra: small ideas can lead to big profits!