Saturday, 9 July 2011

How Not To Succeed In Business And Be Really Trying.

I've been lying in the bath for the last couple of hours. It's been very pleasant. I was having a nice read of a magazine, 'Private Eye'.
There was a little article in there about an artist who has started a small business sharpening pencils. It's true! People send him their pencils and he sharpens them. His unique selling point is that he sharpens them in the old fashioned way, using a knife.
Modern pencil sharpeners are a complete no no for him. Apparently he is able to get the pencils to a really sharp point. So as not to get the point damaged in the post, he then puts the pencil in it's own snug fitting tube. This service only costs $12. It sounds crazy but he is doing a roaring trade.
It seems that once sharpened people are reluctant to use them for there intended purpose, and instead give them as gifts to others. They come with a little certificate to prove they have been hand sharpened.

So as I was lying there in the bath, my thoughts turned to rusty nails. Specifically, as to whether I would be able to make any money from them.
I have a great heap of rusty nails, mostly garnered from the embers of the occasional bonfire I have, and also from burning wooden pallets and packing cases in the fire in the cold winter months. I suppose I ought to reclassify them as burnt rusty nails.
If I had a welding machine I could make little sculptures and sell them for lots of money to art collectors. That would take up a lot of my time though, and in the end they might not even sell.
Because they have been in the fire they have lost their temper. No, I don't mean they are angry about being burnt. I mean they have gone a bit soft and bendy. Obviously they are not going to be any use for their original purpose.
What I have decided to do, is to sell them individually, mounted on their own little wooden plaque. With a label stating that they have been burnt in a genuine Sussex bonfire. They can be supplied in original burnt and rusty condition, or polished, or a choice of three colours.
I'm going to charge £9.99p for them. My reasoning being, that people will notice that they cost less than a tenner and think that they are getting a bargain. Which of course they are. This money making idea cannot fail. I shall probably become a millionaire.
Amazing that this has all stemmed from reading a magazine whilst sitting in the bath. Next time I'm going to put some water in the bath. It might relax me a bit. Stop me from being such a bloody idiot.


  1. doesn't sound as compelling as pet rocks, but who knows?

  2. I do hope you remember all us "little people" when you are a millionaire. I have always wanted to be able to say I know someone rich. A suggestion is to use different colors of shellac on your boards. It adds the designer touch, don't you think?

  3. But now that you have told us all of your idea, you will have to rush and get it patented to no one else does it first and steals away your fortune...or not.

  4. It's not as idiotic as you think... I've seen worse ideas make a fortune. Mind you, I wouldn't buy one, plinth or no plinth, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a go. There are people out there who.... but perhaps I shouldn't go there... grins. Happy Sunday.

  5. You'll have outlets all over the country before you know it.

    As for pencil sharpening, I do think there's something special about pencils sharpened with a knife. I remember my dad teaching me to do that as a kid.

  6. Sounds like a million dollar idea to me, plus it'll keep you busy!

  7. If people will bid on a telescope aka an ex-kitchen roll tube on eBay I'd say you are on to a winner, get a good bit of flannel going for your sales pitch and you're away

  8. I do hope that once you make your fortune you will continue with your blog. Maybe you could do a giveaway of one nail as a way to kick off the grand opening of your new venture

  9. Bagsy I can be your Canadian outlet!
    Jane x