This month was ‘April Fools’ month. Did you get caught? I did. And have you ever wondered why it is called April Fool? Nobody seems to know, but probably the most logical is the explanation that when the Gregorian calendar was adopted in the late 1500s, the New Year was moved from April 1 to January 1.  Those who kept to the old tradition and the old date were labelled fools, hence the association.

When I read that article that the City of Johannesburg was introducing the ‘Easy Wheels Programme’ to alleviate traffic in the Sandton CBD I really did believe it. The fact that motorists had to pay up to R250 to use the roads did not surprise me – I just added it to all the other ridiculous decisions that Local and National Authorities have made recently. I was quite delighted when I heard it was a joke.

But jokes aside, I like April Fool’s day. I like to call myself an entrepreneur of sorts, and I like to dream up all sorts of products and services that might (but probably wouldn’t) sell. And it irritates me when people say that they can’t go into business because they don’t have any ideas as to what they can do.

On April Fool’s day, literally dozens of imaginative ideas emerge around the world and I am certain that quite a few could turn into some very ‘cool’ business opportunities for the entrepreneurial small businessman.

There was the ‘mile protector’ – it was shoe-goo for tyres. The idea is to spread it on the tread of tyres every month which would double the mileage obtained. There was also that obvious joke in the UK which I thought had some merit. It was the installation of trampoline aisles in Tesco to help small people reach top shelves. And finally there was the one about Longleat Safari Park in Warminster, Wiltshire who had introduced ‘plastic wrap’ for cars when entering the park. This stopped damage to wiper blades, aerials etc by baboons which is a common event in the park.

These may well have been jokes to fool, but I’m sure that someone, somewhere will be looking at all these and a few initiatives will emerge. And people will say –“why didn’t I think of that?”

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