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And Then?

These little piggybackers went aftermarket . . . and reaped the benefits of a built-in consumer base.

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This story appears in the April 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

What if, tomorrow, we decided not to own cars? The whole world, all at once, just gave them up? What if, say, instead, we decided to ride ostriches to work and school? That would mean two things: The Twilight Zone isn't just black-and-white reruns-it's real life, and we've just entered it-and Lee Schoenfeld would no longer have a business.

All right, maybe thousands, or even millions, of entrepreneurs and employees around the world would be affected. But let's talk about Schoenfeld, a businessman whose store, AutoFun Inc., doesn't sell cars; it sells car accessories. If you go into Schoenfeld's store, located in the heart of Coon Rapids, a suburb of Minneapolis, you won't find a Plymouth or a Probe, but you will see car stereos and car stickers, CD decks and fuzzy dice. AutoFun even sells 8-tracks if you want them. You'll see 32-inch subwoofers and satellite navigation systems. Or Schoenfeld may lead you to a curling iron, a blender or a coffee maker that plugs in to your cigarette lighter. He has child safety seats and floor mats, too, all of which would be completely useless on an ostrich. Except, maybe, for the fuzzy dice. You could tie them around the animal's neck. Where there's a will, there's a way, right?

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