How To Make a Billion Dollars

Now that they've sold Instagram (aka, Picture Twitter) to Facebook for $1 billion, founders Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom are probably sitting by a pool, high-fiving each other with the severed hands of a thousand serfs. While they made their fortune in an unprecedentedly short time — Instagram was 551 days old when Facebook bought it — they're not the only people who've unexpectedly struck it rich. So if you want to make a fast fortune, take a lesson from these examples. INVISIBLE CHILDREN'S KONY 2012 Film a C+ documentary urging people to take social action by donating money. Promote the project with an A+ marketing campaign. Do not strip naked and publicly lose your sh!t afterwards (optional). Payday: About $4 million SPANX Cut the legs off of pantyhose. Sell what's left. Payday: $1 billion BAYOU BILLIONAIRES Purchase 80 acres of Louisiana swampland. Avoid hungry gators until oil companies discover massive natural gas deposits under the ground. Payday: $57.6 million THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT Film a few of your friends running around the woods at night, screaming. Payday: $140 million PET ROCKS Find a bunch of rocks. Turn around and sell them. Payday: $15 million in 6 months CEREALITY Buy a bunch of off-brand cereal. Turn around and sell it at restaurants that serve only cereal. Payday: Enough to open restaurants in several cities 12-YEAR-OLD ENTREPRENEUR CAMERON JOHNSON Buy a bunch of Beanie Babies. Turn around and sell them at a markup. Payday: $3-4 million a month DOGGLES Buy a bunch of swimming goggles. Turn around and sell them at a mark-up as "swimming goggles — for dogs." Payday: $5 million a month