We all have ideas. And most of us are creative. That means many of us have creative ideas, and some of us can become inventors. All amateur inventors are dreaming about creating a million-dollar product in their garage. Unfortunately, most of the time the only thing that comes out of the garage is the family car.

Getting a patent for your invention is expensive, time-consuming and still does not guarantee a favorable outcome. So don’t start dreaming of an early retirement in the Caribbean right away. Most inventors don't get wealthy from their ideas. Licensing your creation, marketing, selling it to a major company is risky, hugely expensive and yet - no guarantee of the result. Not to mention fraudulent companies, like infamous Patent and Trademark Institute, that collected $61 million from unfortunate inventors, who paid to evaluate, patent and promote their products. And even after this PTI scheme was discovered and the company was sued, the creative victims received only a small fraction of money, they have invested.

Not everyone is capable of building a time machine or a synchrotron, but some ideas are so shockingly obvious, they make us think: “How come it did not occur to me?” or “I did have the same idea, why didn’t I claim it?” Genius in simplicity: some clear-cut ideas introduced into business, became tireless money makers.

Santa Mail. Millions of kids, scribbling their “Dear Santa” letters every year, isn’t it a great market? Byron Reese took on the global role of Mr. Claus by launching “Santa Mail” in 2002. For a small fee parents can make it possible for their youngsters to send letter directly to the North Pole and receive a personalized answer from the Big Guy himself. Can you guess the monetary "return on the invention" for Mr. Reese? We all are playing Santa for our own kids, but how many thought of getting a patent on this idea?

Lucky Break Wishbones. While every large family kept fighting over the lone turkey wishbone at Thanksgiving, Ken Ahroni started manufacturing of breakable plastic wishbones. The idea, as simple as snow, brought millions to the inventor.

Antenna Balls. As useless as they are, these juvenile yellow smiley-faced balls are hanging on the top of car antennas everywhere. And as stupid as they are, these balls made the inventor Jason Wall a very wealthy man.

The wheel. The light bulb. Big Mouth Billy Bass. Great inventions change the world and become milestones in the progress of the mankind. Not so great, but still credible - provide comfort and convenience to the masses. Others just provide fortune to their inventors. Can they also be useful to someone other than the inventor? Judge for yourself. Here are some creations, which were granted a patent and put into production:

Method and Device for Recognition of a Collision with a Pedestrian.

Using sensors in the car’s bumper, this invention will tell you if that thing you just hit was a pedestrian. What a wonderful idea! It can also become useful with one small adjustment: it should work a little bit sooner, while the living thing in front of you is still living, not after you’ve run it over. But that will be another patent. This one is intended not to prevent an accident, but to keep track of how many vehicular homicides you’ve committed.

Boatless water skiing.

Very thrifty idea. You love to water ski, but can’t afford a ski-boat. Forget the boat! Pair of oars in your hands, sorry, pair of "Motorized Propulsion Sticks" and you are water skiing, no boat required.

Flatulence deodorizer.

This invention basically represents a special diaper “for absorbing gas due to flatulence." We have to admit certain convenience of the thing for people whose lives have been completely ruined by farts.

User-Operated Amusement Apparatus for Kicking the User's Buttocks

That is the official patent name. The device looks like a stepper exercise machine connected to a windmill with every axle dressed in a boot. Standing with your back towards the windmill, you start stepping, which set the windmill in motion, and the boots begin rhythmically kicking your butt. Remember, it is an "Amusement Apparatus". Have fun! Can also be used by lazy parents, who can utilize it as self-serviced punishment for kids (plus a nice workout).
Two-da-loo Tandem Toilet

Imagine two conjoined toilets, sharing a low wall and facing each other. Magnificent idea. Forget the lonely time on an uncomfortable seat, now you can have company, spend quality time with your family or occasional guest, have an intelligent conversation. Don’t be lonesome in the restroom!

Toilet Timer

Another great bathroom invention. Essential for large family with one bathroom. Creates bathroom time awareness. The clock is integrated with the toilet, right between your knees, and it’s flush mounted! Time’s up, get out. You are not done yet – too bad, need to work on your self-discipline.

Sci Fi Themed Condoms.

We cannot deny the necessity of condoms. But this patent is not for condom invention or enhancement. Basically, it is for attractive sci-fi themed wrap, featuring, for example Star Wars characters. It is hard to believe that a skilled adult will fall for a colorful cover. But the invention will certainly attract children to condoms.

Hand near Mouth Alarm

Attempts to lose weight often fail because of compulsive eating. People put stuff in their mouth almost unconsciously. This little device can stop the pounds-piling habit. A compact gizmo on your wrist will sound an alarm whenever your hand comes dangerously close to your mouth. While invented for weight loss, this patent can also be used by compulsive smokers, drinkers and nose-pickers.

We all have ideas. Let’s invent something!