Every billion-dollar idea has an origin story. But when Spencer Silver, an inventor for the manufacturer 3M came up with the idea of his sticky square papers, initially nobody really knew what to do with these things. People didn’t really get the purpose of them. But that was soon about to change.
For several years, post-its were unknown to the rest of the world. But they soon got their fair share of exposure and the buzz surrounding these elegant reminders had an incredible snowball effect. These days, you’ll find post-its in nearly every office around the world – and plenty of homes too.
Ring (aka DoorBot) - $1.1 billion
In 2013, CEO of Ring (aka DoorBot) James Siminoff got on the show to talk about his bright idea. He invented a doorbell camera that goes by the name of DoorBot. Ring was already one of the most popular home security systems in the U.S. when he got on the show, which is why the sharks never actually wound up investing.
Looks like he didn't need them in the end as James recently sold Ring to Amazon for $1.1 billion dollars! Mark Cuban said even after the sale went through that he would not invest in it. According to him, it's overvalued.
Of course, this is one invention that got big long before "Shark Tank" was even a thing. During the prohibition era, American businesses had to find alternative ways to make products without any alcohol, and naturally, people were seeking another kind of thrill. This paved the way for the world's most iconic soft drink - Coca Cola.
When an Atlanta-based pharmacist named John S. Pemberton invented his famous "Wine Cocoa," which served as a cure for headaches, people fell for the new drink. The real kick came from certain ingredients. He replaced alcohol with sugars, carbonated water, and extracts from the coca leaf and kola nut.
From Heaven Above
You know, there was a time when book readers simply needed to take a mental note of where they left off in a book they were halfway through. But that was soon about to change. In 1974, a colleague of Spencer, named Art Fry who had attended one of his seminars, came up with the bright idea of placing the adhesive paper in his hymn book, thus using it as a bookmark!
The papers easily marked the pages and quickly his book became filled with post-its that marked various pages. Thankfully the use was discovered and ever since people have been sticking them on walls, inside books, leaving notes on desks, you name it. It's now worth 5 billion dollars.
We have been graced with countless fantastic products that have come into this world completely by accident. In fact, some of the best inventions came from people's mistakes or just letting something happen. Take the 11-year-old Frank Epperson for example, who left his mixed soda pop with water and promptly forgot all about it.
The next day his cup of sweet drink was frozen over, and, voila, the first frozen "popsicle" came to life. Years later, as an adult, he marketed his little invention. And these days, you will find popsicles in virtually every grocery store in the world and you can rest assured that sales skyrocket during the summer.