Business can be very exciting: if you have the right ideas and you execute them properly, your business will flourish. Some ideas are normal while others are simply crazy. It is expected that the normal ones succeed. However, we are all amazed when the crazy ones do too. Here are 15 interesting and now successful business ideas that were once believed to be useless.
The pet rock
After listening to his friends complaining about their pets, a guy named Dahl decided to invest his time in the most easy pet to maintain, a rock. He started a pet company that was literally selling rocks. This was in 1975. Eventually, he was worth $15 million.
The narrative clip
This is a tiny camera that you can clip on the front of your shirt. This camera takes two photos every minute for as long as you wear it. It costs $279 per unit and is manufactured in Sweden. The purpose of the Narrative Clip is to record your life so that you can relive it later.
The homepage worth millions
Advertising billboards charge clients per square meter. A smart student decided to do the same, but with a website and computer monitors. The student created a webpage and decided to sell advertisements on it per 10 pixels. Interestingly, a standard computer monitor has 1024 pixels.The student sold the advertising space and charged high prices. Surprisingly, major companies liked the idea and bought in. The student made more than a million dollars with one homepage.
One morning a priest named Bernard McCoy found that his printer did not have any ink. So he simply decided to create a solution. He started a business filling empty cartridges with black powder and it became his ink refilling business. With the help of eight fellow monks in the Cisterian Abbey in Monroe, father Bernard grew his business from $2,000 to $2.5 million.
Craig Newmark had the idea of an online garage sale where you can get anything that you want. So he built the Craigslist website. It is simple, has very standard font and hasn't changed in years. People criticise it's design but the Craigslist founder maintains it as it always has been and the website is still successful.
There are many dating websites today. Each one tries to find a unique way to attract users and create compatible matches. Well, there is one that made sure the singles were all compatible by targeting HIV positive people. Known as PositivesDating.com, the website had over 50,000 members after it was launched.
If wishes were bones
A wishbone is a small piece of bone that you can use to create your own luck by making wishes with it. Commonly thought of as just a myth, they are often just left to folklore. Ken Ahroni decided to make a business of it. People thought his idea was useless. However, soon he started making and selling plastic wishbones at $3. Eventually, he was selling 30,000 units a day.
Cards for exercise
We all enjoy passing time with some playing cards. They are fun and we enjoy the designs on the back. What if the cards encouraged us to do something more than just pass time? Ex-Navy SEAL operator Phil Black decided to do just that. Initially, his critics thought that nobody would take his encouragement seriously. However, over time, the cards became a hit and people began to enjoy the exercises as well. By selling the cards at $18.95, Phil made revenue of $4.7 million in 12 months.
Would you give up your vacation time to go and work elsewhere? Many people would laugh this idea off. When Vocation Vacation proposed the same idea, they were laughed at too. They created a website where you can go and work vocationally at your dream job or in a different place where your efforts will help out. Surprisingly, vacationers began to embrace the idea and sign up. After some time, Vocation Vacation had 125 interesting jobs that people on vacation
Would you trust a group of strangers with your bank account details and your email address? Well, that's exactly what Peter Thiel and Elon Musk expected their customers to do. They are the founders of Paypal. The online payment company was challenging to use and users were initially afraid to share their details. However, it is one of the most profitable companies today.
Suggested Reading : 10 Mind Blowing Lessons We Learned From Elon Musk on Success
A company called Santamail decided to make Christmas a little more real to children around the world. So they registered a postal code at the North Pole in Alaska. After that, they started to charge parents $10 per letter to mail letters to children purporting to be Santa Claus. It's a simply crazy idea and many thought it was a waste of time. Well, Santamail got 200,000 parents to send letters to their kids and made millions in revenue.
The ecosystem in a globe
As time goes by, technology improves. In addition to it, ideas improve too. So some enterprising people decided to create a closed ecosystem that could maintain itself. It was an improvement on the pet rock craze of the seventies. In this new one, there are really small shrimp that feed on algae. The algae feeds on sunlight and the whole process is held within a glass globe." It's not fun," critics said. Well, the company producing them sold thousands of units and made a lot of money.
In this case, the early attempts to make something successful were waved off as pure rubbish. Theodore Gisel was an author who wrote children's stories. He had decided to make a series of books to entertain kids. When he presented the early manuscripts to publishers, they told him that his work was pure rubbish. One event, he met a friend who had recently gained control of an editing company. His friend agreed to publish the works and Dr. Seuss was born.
Many thought that the idea of a virtual yearbook was too crazy and unnecessary but Mark Zuckerberg thought otherwise. He still built it and it ended up becoming Facebook. Today, his social networking site has billions of users and is one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Suggested Reading : 10 Smart Ways to Use Social Media to Find Great Business Ideas
Today, everyone and their pet knows about Amazon. The ecommerce company began as an online bookstore. Critics wondered why you should go to the trouble of learning how to use a computer and register to read books when you can simply walk to the library for free? Well, people loved the idea. Soon, everyone was on Amazon reading a book in the comfort of their own homes.
The Important Take Away
The craziest ideas can create the best results. Some of them face opposition and challenges as they establish themselves. However, if a business or an idea is truly valuable, it will ultimately be capable of generating a substantial cashflow. Let the above ideas and businesses inspire you to chase your craziest dreams!