Stan Weston had an idea that would change the lives of little boys forever. And then he made a really bad decision.
He knew that girls liked to play with dolls. But boys had no dolls to play with. Boys liked guns and action.
Dolls + Action == ??
He made a doll based on a soldier, gave it a plastic gun, and called it an “action figure”. He named it GI Joe.
He showed it to Hasbro and Hasbro made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
Hasbro said, “We’ll give you a license to take a piece of revenues forever. OR. We’ll give you $75,0000.”
Stan drove a hard bargain. He got them to raise that $75,000 to $100,000. He went home a happy man and put the $100,000 in his bank account.
Since then, GI Joe has sold over one billion dollars worth of merchandise.
Stan Weston didn’t come up with the newest newest new thing. All he did was combine the simplest concepts and made something that millions of kids loved.
THIS IS the critical thing he said that defined his success:
Truly groundbreaking ideas are rare, but you don’t necessarily need one to make a career out of creativity. My definition of creativity is the logical combination of two or more existing elements that result in a new concept. The best way to make a living with your imagination is to develop innovative applications, not imagine completely new concepts.
That’s it. Make two lists of what people love. Combine them. Have fun.
Do it every day (exercise. Practice makes progress. Progress makes permanent.).
Pick the best idea. Make billions. Help millions. Make people happy.