Quite some time ago, I heard two stories about genius ideas. Both of them were allegedly coming from outside the company and sold to big corporations, with those ending saving a lot of money (and also paying generously to the person coming up with the idea).
The first story was about the toothpaste tubes colgate produced - the idea was to increase the circumference of the pipe of the tube, and since people use the same length of toothpaste to cover their toothbrushes, they will end up using more toothpaste.
The second was similar and mentioned saving cost of matchboxes, by only covering one edge with the striking surface, instead of two.
I couldn't find any authoritative sources of information about these, but I think both are famous enough, and I just couldn't use the right keywords. Are these stories true? or an urban legend?
And if they are true, would it be possible today to sell just an idea in a similar way?