# Inventor of Weed-Eater dies

• posted on July 3, 2011, 10:39 am
"While driving through an automatic carwash in 1971, George Ballas watched the whirling nylon bristles glide around the contour of his vehicle and wondered if he could adapt the technology to remove the weeds around trees in his yard. At home, he punched holes in a tin can, threaded it with wire and fishing line and bolted it to a rotating lawn edger. He called it the Weed Eater, and when he couldn't sell the concept, he founded his own company and built it into a \$40-million-a-year business."
He was 85
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• posted on July 3, 2011, 1:20 pm
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In only 5 years!
If sales are 40 million, what would the likely price to buy the business be? I know it depends on how much profits are, but guess.

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• posted on July 3, 2011, 5:29 pm
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On Wall Street, 15x is low. During dot-bomb times, and infinite P2E wasn't unusual.
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• posted on July 3, 2011, 5:42 pm

Can I interest you in some shares of Facebook? Those dot-bomb times are comin' round again. Everybody wants to buy into that sleeper stock that takes off. How much did Rupert Murdoch's NewsCorp lose on his purchase of that firecracker Myspace? I know it was a lot. It's like roulette. People know that betting on a single number is a long shot, but a trip to a casino will show that people like betting on long shots and the casino operators love them for it.
-- Bobby G.
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• posted on July 3, 2011, 5:58 pm
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Is 1/2 Billion a lot?

Idf dot-bomb times are back, I'll pull up a ringside seat. Indexes will do well, at least for a while. What the hell, as long as every direction is up, what's the problem? ;-)
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• posted on July 4, 2011, 2:11 am
On Sun, 3 Jul 2011 13:42:06 -0400, "Robert Green"

i HEARD on NPR tonight that if you bought 10,000 dollars of Anheiser Busch when Busch 3 became vp around 1970? you could sell it in 2002 for 2 million . That, not counting reinvested profits (and I don't know if that would increase or lower the real return) it appreciated 205x in 35 or 40 years, 10 times the DJ average.
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• posted on July 3, 2011, 2:51 pm

A friend of mine owned Casual Designs, a t shirt silk screen company in Houston. Mike was an old drag racer who used to sell t shirts at the drags in Dallas and Houston. Mike got a big start finding Weed Eater at the beginning of his t shirt empire. They made zillions of those t shirts.
Steve
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• posted on July 4, 2011, 2:13 am
On Sun, 3 Jul 2011 07:51:02 -0700, "Steve B"

You've lost me. How are weedeaters related to t-shirts?

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• posted on July 4, 2011, 4:01 am

Let me type this really slowly this time so you won't get lost.
In order to promote his new unheard of gizmo, he used t shirts as walking billboards. The t shirts were GIVEN AWAY to anyone who purchased or even tested one. They were given away at borg promotions. The artwork was adolescent, with some abstract monster eating grass and weeds with pointy teeth. Much like the power drink ads of today. This helped Mr. Ballas get his gizmo going. It sure helped my friend, too. WeedEater was one of his biggest accounts.
Hope you got it that time, Sparky.
Steve
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• posted on July 4, 2011, 12:36 pm
On Sun, 3 Jul 2011 21:01:05 -0700, "Steve B"

Sincerely, Lurch