SMALL BUSINESS: Zoom!

On a plane trip four years ago, a seatmate told John Burton Tigrett about a new toy. It was simply a roll of paper on a stick. With a flick of the wrist the paper coil would shoot five feet into the air and snap back into position. Tigrett, an easygoing Southerner who had long made a hobby of buying up patents, tracked down the inventor, bought his patent for $100 plus royalties, and started producing the gadget in a small Chicago shop. Since then, 38-year-old John Tigrett has sold 15 million "Zoomerangs,"...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!