For inventor Jason Wall, the key to successful inventions started with having a ball. Ever since the late 90‘s, Jason Wall’s invention has been gracing the tips of car antennas everywhere, and delighting many road weary traveler with his zany Antennaballs. This self made multi-millionaire boasts a sales rate of around 500 thousand Antennaballs a month.
This California based company owes its start not only to the inventor, Jason Wall, but to a strange character that has been lurking around fast food chain Jack in The Box. This is because Wall was inspired by a mid-nineties commercial that featured the fast food company’s spokes-character: Jack. The company stated that it had sold over 3 million antenna balls and upon hearing this news Wall decided to start designing his own Antennaballs to capitalize on the automotive accessory business. His designs were a tremendous success and adorn the tips of antennas everywhere. With designs ranging from simply smiley faces to characters with pigtails and even a few specialty Antennaballs.
Upon providing his concept’s worth by selling almost 4 million balls to car dealerships, convenience stores, and a few repair garages, Wall decided to get the ball really rolling and try to break into the larger market. To do this he teamed up with Wal-Mart, Circle K, and AutoZone: the major car parts dealer in the United States. Apparently Wall does not seem to want to stop there, boasting his intentions to team up with major motion picture studios to create movie character Antennaballs.
It wasn’t all wine and roses, or was it more like beer and pizza, for Jason Wall. A lawsuit threatened his company early on. The complaint: a copyright infringement filed by Coolballs.com a division of Self Reliant System, Inc. In addition to copyright infringement the company also stated false origin and unfair competition in relation to Coolballs’ proprietary designs.
In a strange outcome for what is usually a long, vicious, and ultimately financially ruinous event, Wall was able to partner up with his erstwhile accusers and come to an alliance agreement. According to Wall, the alliance was a good match and has created one of the United States largest manufacturer and distributors of antenna topping balls, boasting an inventory of over 500 unique antenna topping designs.
A vast majority of the company’s revenue has been generated through the use of Antennaballs as a viral marketing scheme. This is of course a great way to make money for Wall and get his product on even more car antennas. The fact that the advertisers are more than happy to purchase his inexpensive novelty balls as a medium for advertising just stands to prove the longevity of this practice.
So the next time you see a product advertised by a clever antenna ball rolling past you, remember the humble beginnings of one Jason Wall and know that anything is possible with ingenuity and a good eye for opportunity. Although it has been stated many times, that necessity is the mother of invention, opportunity must be a close relative.
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