John Sylvan didn’t know what he had.

Sylvan thought there was a market for a device that would brew a single cup of coffee at a time. After much experimentation, he came up with the device and the little plastic cup that would hold the coffee. He and his college roommate decided to name his invention using the Dutch word for excellence: Keurig.

In 2014, more than 9 billion of those little plastic cups were sold, generating more than $4 billion of income, according to a recent issue of The Atlantic. However, Sylvan didn’t receive any of that money; back in 1997, he sold his share of the company for $50,000. (Click here to read the full article.)


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