Cheers to Happy Accidents

Play Doh

Image source: Larry D. Moore via Wikimedia Commons

It’s a hot summer day in Toronto. And I just went to the Dollar Store to get a few items for my son to play with inside this afternoon while it’s muggy. I also wanted to get him an inflatable splash pool to cool off on our back deck.

As I perused the store shelves for activities for an 18-month old, I came across some Play Doh and was reminded that this product came about in a very unconventional way. According to Wikipedia, Play Doh was originally invented as a wallpaper cleaner in the days of coal-based home heating before WWII.

But when home heating was switched to natural gas, houses no longer had coal soot on their walls that required cleaning. So, the company almost went bankrupt. That is, until the inventor’s nephew discovered that the non-toxic product was being used by nursery school children. As a result, a new product was born.

If your small business or startup is struggling, maybe this story can be an inspiration. Perhaps there is a happy accident or discovery waiting to happen for your product or service. You just need to look at it from a different perspective.

A few years ago, I shared my own story of how I changed paths to become a content marketer. That was also a happy discovery. And there are countless other stories like mine. Check out these other happy accidents like chewing gum, Kleenex and Corn Flakes outlined on on Forbes.com.

Do you have a product or service that came about as a happy accident? If so, I’d love to hear your story. Please share below.

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One thought on “Cheers to Happy Accidents

  1. Pingback: My Favourite 2014 Blog Posts | The Running Start

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