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Chapter: Dumb but Brilliant

Okay, how’s this for a brilliant idea. Get a postal address at the North Pole, Alaska, pretend you’re Santa Claus and charge parents $10 for every letter you send to their kids? Well, address-owner Byron Reese has sent over 300,000 letters since the start of his business, Santa Mail, in 2001, which makes him a couple million dollars richer. Parents who want their children to have a personal greeting for Christmas just need to make an order online, and they will receive a letter in the mail. The company sends out fully personalized letters all across North America, and they’re even postmarked from the North Pole, which gives them an authentic feeling.
    The magic of Christmas is a serious business for Reese. He has implemented a rigorous quality-control program that has multiple people (his elves) checking each letter, ensuring complete accuracy for each one, as well as Birthday cards from Santa and the post-Christmas “Greetings from Hawaii” postcard from a tanned, beach-bound Santa. Reese started out with low expectations, but sold 10,000 letters the first year.
    Reese’s childhood Christmas memories include installing 200 strings of Christmas lights and decorating dozens of Christmas cookies each year, and today he loves the look on the postman’s face when he goes to buy 40,000 Santa stamps at the post office each Christmas.

Possible Moral
An idea that at first glance seems really stupid – might just be in need of some polishing. The more details, depth and thought you put into your ideas the more valuable they become. What you also need is to believe in your product. If you lack belief, it will show through. Byron Reese may have met a lot of criticism against his “stupid” idea, but due to his determination he put his idea into practice and has become rich along the way.

Story from We All Need Heroes: Stories of the Brave and Foolish.

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