We all know that companies that revolutionize their industries make for fantastic investments. After all, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Microsoft have made millions for early investors.

Unfortunately, these companies prove very difficult to identify early on in their growth stages.

The notion today, for example, is that all revolutionary companies are tech companies: the YouTubes, the Googles (NASDAQ:GOOG), the eBays (NASDAQ:EBAY), and the Vonages (NYSE:VG).

But that's not true. Revolutionary growth companies can come from anywhere and do just about anything. Witness Falcon WaterFree Technologies, a private company that may change the way we go to the bathroom -- and save the world in the process.

About WaterFree
Falcon WaterFree Technologies makes urinals that don't have to be flushed with fresh water. According to the company, each urinal saves approximately 40,000 gallons of water per year and is far less expensive to operate than a conventional urinal.

In a world where fresh water is a finite resource and our global population is growing larger by the day, you can see why Falcon may just be the next big thing in toilets.

Even better for the business, the urinals function with a filter that periodically needs to be replaced. That's exactly the razor-and-blade economic model that's so lucrative for razor makers such as Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and for printer-print cartridge makers such as Dell (NASDAQ:DELL) and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ).

Unfortunately, we can't buy shares ... yet
And even though Falcon is privately held, the company is still worth examining. In fact, it possesses a number of the core traits that David Gardner uses to identify revolutionary growth companies for his Motley Fool Rules Breakers investment service.

  1. It's the first mover in an important, emerging industry.
  2. It has a sustainable advantage gained through visionary leadership and patent protection.
  3. It has good management and smart backing, including a board that features scientists, water industry professionals, and former Vice President Al Gore.
  4. It solves a large problem in an effective way.
  5. It has very little competition in its niche.

It's traits like these that separate true Rule Breakers from flashes-in-the-pan such as Pets.com and HD radio (whatever that is). And as I wrote above, the rewards from being able to identify Rule Breakers early in their growth stages can be truly remarkable.

You can take a look at all of the stocks David has found that fit this profile for Motley Fool Rule Breakers subscribers by clicking here to try the service free for 30 days. There's no obligation to subscribe, and hey, you need something to make you a mint while we wait for Falcon WaterFree to come public.

Tim Hanson does not own shares of any company mentioned in this article. Wal-Mart, Microsoft, and Dell are Inside Value recommendations. eBay and Dell are Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool is investors writing for investors.