Three successful business ideas that sounded bad

pet rocks

Some people spend their whole lives trying to succeed in business. Often, they will be gifted, diligent and dedicated in this pursuit, spending years perfecting business plans and budgets, learning theory and crafting the perfect money making ventures. And, just as often, they will fail.

Then, somebody will come along with a nonsensical idea for a business that any sane business-minded person would dismiss in a hot second, and will take the world by storm, making a packet in the process.

Here is out top three highly lucrative businesses that would never last two minutes on Dragon's Den.

• Pet Rocks

The 70s saw a few weird trends come and go, but few were weirder than the Pet Rock. Launched in 1975, Pet Rocks were designer Gary Dahl's idea of a ‘perfect pet' – cheap, low-maintenance, even-tempered and with no waste for you to pick up. Plus they lived forever. Laugh all you like, but people queued up to pay good money for Dahl's creation: a rock with two googly eyes. It made its creator $15 million after just six months.

• Ashley Madison

The idea of a dating website strictly for married people looking to have an affair was greeted with laughter, repulsion and disdain when it first made its appearance a few years back under the slogan ‘Life is short: Have an affair.' Whatever you thought about founder Noel Biderman's adulterous concept, the one thing you cannot call it is a failure. It now recieves just shy of 2 million visitors every month, although the social motives are questionable.

• Plastic Wishbones

Who knew that so many people sitting around dinner tables felt frustrated that only two people got to snap the wishbone after the turkey? Well, Ken Ahroni did and that's why he manufactured LuckyBreak, the plastic wishbones that make more than 2.5 million dollars in sales each year.

• Flowbee

Do you remember the bit in Wayne's World where a guy comes on the show and tries to vacuum-cut Garth's hair? Pretty silly, right? Well, believe it or not, that invention was based on the real-life Flowbee developed by a Californian carpenter. What is more surprising, perhaps, is that it has, to date, sold roughly 2 million models.