Flash of inspiration . . .
Milton Levine’s eureka moment came in 1956, when he spotted a mound of ants during a Fourth of July picnic at his sister’s poolside in Southern California.
Coalescence into an idea . . .
Recalling how as a boy he had collected ants in jars at his uncle’s farm, thought “We should make an antarium.”
Milton takes action . . .
The resulting product — Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm — selling for $1.98, the original 6-by-9-inch ant farm was an immediate hit, soon selling thousands a week by mail order to children persuaded by commercials on after-school television shows.
The result . . .
It has been a staple in children’s bedrooms ever since. More than 20 million have been sold. Mr. Levine once said of his company’s success: “Most novelties, if they last one season, it’s a lot. If they last two seasons, it’s a phenomenon. To last 35 years is unheard of.” That was in 1991.
From a dream into a reality . . .
Last year, Uncle Milton Industries, based in Westlake Village, Calif., was sold to the Transom Capital Group for more than $20 million. Mr. Levine died Jan. 16 in Thousand Oaks, CA. He was 97.
Do you have a flash of inspiration? Do you have an idea or dream? Do you take action? Do you follow through?
Take a moment today to assess where you accelerate, where you sputter, and where you eventually stop.
Milton took a simple idea, made it into a novelty, and grossed $20M.
You can too.
Quotes taken and modified from the New York Times.