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The Un-Dating Game

Making money from women who like to make fun of men

Cure for Cancer, World Peace and Other Great Ideas sits on the shelf of 31-year-old comedians John Heffron and Joel Zimmer. Of course you've never heard of it--it's the private notebook where Heffron and Zimmer write down their brilliant ideas. It's where, in 1997, they came up with the That Guy! Game.

Made for women to play at girls-night-out type functions, the That Guy! Game is a scavenger hunt. Players look for the guys on their cards, like "Unibrow Guy" or "Tight Pants Guy"--you know . . . the guys you generally avoid. The game has taken off, and the pair expects 2001 sales of $250,000 to $500,000. It's even catching the attention of TV producers, and a game show for Paramount is in the works. Zimmer and Heffron's company, Eleven Eleven Productions, also has plans for a wireless PDA version of the game, along with greeting cards and a version for teenage girls.

The idea took nearly three years to come to fruition; it was while they were both recovering from breakups that they decided to really focus on it. Says Heffron, "I would recommend sprinkling jealousy and 'I'll show you that you shouldn't have broken up with me' into any kind of motivation."

Adds Zimmer, "I don't know if a lot of Fortune 500 companies were started that way, but we did."


MOONLIGHTING
Late-nighters prove the moon's made not of cheese, but of money.

If you're a night owl, check out this business trend and all its possibilities. Time reports that 24-hour child-care centers are gaining in popularity as more parents find themselves working the graveyard shift. And, if you're in a college town, look for ways to serve the all-night study crowd. At least one business--chicken wing franchise Wing Zone--is based on the premise that the college set seeks late-night snacks. Even some university dining halls are taking note and offering late-night meals, according to a Newsweek report. Time for other bizzes to take note: There can be profit in the midnight hour.

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This article was originally published in the June 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Un-Dating Game.

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