If you're looking to start a business in 2016, you may have been planning it for years--or maybe it's a brand-new New Year's resolution. In either case, you're going to need ideas, and Aziz Ansari is here to help.
Ansari's Parks and Recreation character Tom Haverford is one of the more indefatigable entrepreneurs in television history. Here are 28 of his great side-hustles, straight from the fictional Pawnee, Indiana:
1. Private jet apartments
2. Talking tissues
You never know. Someone could make this happen.
3. Multimedia entertainment conglomerate
Haverford and co-founder Jean-Ralphio Saperstein (Ben Schwartz) launched their new business Entertainment 720, the first and only "premiere, high-end, all-media entertainment conglomerate," in Pawnee, Indiana.
Entertainment 720 ultimately sought bankruptcy protection. There was a flaw in its business strategy: You can't make money by literally printing your own money.
4. Game Show
Haverford's first exploration into the television business seemed destined for greatness, but he was struck down by the cruel mistress known as "testing your product on your friends."
U.S. audiences may love watching marriages fall apart on the small screen--but is it less fun when you see your friends' marriage destroyed in front of your very eyes? Yes. It is.
5. Clothing rental
Haverford started Rent-A-Swag, a company renting high-end clothes to teens "so their parents don't have to buy them nice things they'll just grow out of." It was a huge hit.
But plumbing a successful niche can attract competitors. Rival "Tommy's Closet" set up shop across the street, undercut Rent-A-Swag's prices, and Haverford was forced to sell.
6. Alcoholic yogurt
"Yogurt Platinum" is gourmet alcoholic yogurt. Any takers?
7. Music-playing Roomba
"DJ Roomba" is a Roomba that plays music as it cleans.
8. High-end Kahlua-style liqueur
Experimenting paid off for the entrepreneurial hero when he created Snake Juice by mixing "a bunch of alcohol together, [adding] some sugar and coffee, and some other junk, and it kinda tastes like Kahlua."
It was delicious. Even Haverford's day-job boss, Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman), who drinks only Lagavulin Whisky, drank it.
Sadly, Haverford was again snake-bitten. His mass-email advertising Snake Juice to the entire city government violated the separation between his job as a public official and his entrepreneurial endeavors, forcing him to abandon the drink and his ownership shares at the Snakehole Lounge.
But you're probably fine to try this at home. Just watch out for the nasty hangover.
9. Branded tap water
If Snake Juice put Haverford at odds with his government job, "H2Flow" helped save it. In an escalating marketing war of making boring things seem exciting, Haverford came out on top.
First, he branded fluoride as #TDAZZLE ("It's not a chemical--it's an aquatic-based social media oral experience"). Then, he turned the act of drinking tap water into a rewards system.
Why? To keep candy maker Sweetums from replacing Pawnee's municipal water supply with the sugar-filled "Drinkums." Entrepreneurship can be quite the noble venture, and marketing can make all the difference.
10. Glitter-infused laundry detergent
The verdict of Pawnee nurse Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones): "No, that's not a good idea. That's terrible."
Maybe you could make it work?
11. Glitter-infused butter
12-13. Nightclub or restaurant
Early on, Pawnee's paragon of entrepreneurial spirit proposed an underwater-themed nightclub, named either Club-a-Dub-Dub or the Clubmarine. Alternatively, he proposed the name Tom's Bistro.
Four years later, Haverford actually opened Tom's Bistro, a classy Italian restaurant. And while it suffered some early hiccups--including his primary investor's suddenly pulling out--it soon became one of the most successful businesses in Pawnee.
14. TV agent
When Haverford's friend Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt) became a children's television star, Haverford agreed to become his agent. Ten percent for just showing up. Not bad.
15. Writing a bestseller
After his restaurant business went under, Haverford used his failures to become an internationally known bestselling author and motivational speaker.
16-20. He can keep going
Lasik for fingernails. An escargot delivery service called Snail Mail. Cologne for toddlers--tagline: "Baby, you smell good." Cologne for adults: Tommy Fresh. Saltweens: saltines for tweens.
Haverford is an unstoppable force of entrepreneurship. Time to jump on the Tommytown Express.