Vuvuzelas Equal Profit Online

How the World Cup and Entrepreneurial risk-taking turned an idea into profit


The power of the Internet coupled with a good idea allows companies to make money more quickly than ever. Consider the case of the simple vuvuzela – the super-annoying horn constantly blasting at World Cup games. One company, 365 Inc. bet that the focus on the World Cup would make these plastic horns a top seller and was right. The Birmingham Alabama company has sold nearly 30,000 of these horns for $8 a piece and brought in $240,000 in the process.

Jeff Stephens, Director of Marketing at the company had this to say about the company’s good fortune, “We may never have an opportunity like this again.”

It just goes to show you how virtually anyone can use the Internet to turn a good idea into fast money.

But of course there is more to the story made popular by the Wall Street Journal. A current  search for vuvuzela on Google brings back the following three ads only:


Notice that the company mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article isn’t even present and that Amazon now occupies the top spot. So even though the Internet makes it easy to turn an idea into a quick buck online, you have incumbents such as Amazon in the retail space who can outspend you and moreover have better name recognition. Additionally, they have existing relationships with so many people who hate having to enter their credit card number and other information on a new ecommerce site.

Still, on balance the success of this company proves it is better to be quick than right – but if you can be both, you can make a killing.

And while we are on the topic of entrepreneurial success, its stories like this which remind us why 10 times out of 10 it makes sense to bet on the entrepreneur to revive an economy and not Washington bureaucrats.

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