Not to Brag, But I Invented Danimals

smiling handsome bearded man

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The year was 1994. I was challenged to come up with a billion dollar business idea for my Advanced Entrepreneurship class in college, but I totally forgot about the assignment until the day before it was due.

When I remembered my homework, I was eating a decent strawberry Dannon yogurt. Obviously I started panicking, half-eaten yogurt in one hand and spoon in the other, because like, I had to get to work NOW but I had no idea how I was going to finish this yogurt! So frustrating, right?

That’s when the gears started turning: I started thinking, how can I get this yogurt down as quickly as possible? Man, like, I wish it was drinkable. And maybe in a bottle about the size of my hand.

Like that one famous person said, pressure makes diamonds. I swished my remaining yogurt with some tap water to thin it out, and then drank it in one go. Boom. Down. Like a strawberry smoothie.

Now I was so excited by this, I emailed Dannon Yogurt straightaway. “Hi Dannon Yogurt, this is Neil. I have this billion dollar business idea,” I wrote. “You take a fraction of your strawberry yogurt, water it down, and put it in small bottles. Slap some bright colors and a smiling relatable-looking monkey boy on the packaging, call it a Strawberry Explosion smoothie, then bump up the price more than you think you should. Market it to kids and exhausted parents who’ve given up on giving a fuck. Make those parents pay over a dollar for one sip of watery yogurt, leave their kids wanting more.”

And that, my friends, is how Danimals was born.

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