Strange Ideas for Millions

They may seem crazy, but they are successful

Strange Ideas for Millions

Sheridan Simove

Снимка: shedsimove.com

Автор: Aleksandar Aleksandrov

If you ask ten people  you happen to meet on the street what would be the thing that they need in order to start a successful business and get rich, probably nine of them would say that they will need a serious investment or connections. In fact, around us there are many examples of business ventures where nothing was invested at the early stage and they still managed to develop well. These could be consulting businesses, various online projects, PR activities or marketing services and many others. Below, we will introduce you several honestly crazy endeavours that brought to their founders a huge wealth, in some cases exceeding millions of dollars.

A Blank Website

In 2005, Alex Tew was a student in the UK who was looking for a way to raise money to pay for his studies. At that time, the Internet was already developing at a rapid pace, but was still far from the influence it has nowadays. Social networks and video sharing platforms had not yet gained popularity, and technologies such as Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality were in the field of fiction. The corporate world was already seeing the potential of online advertising, but still didn’t have any significant opportunities to be present in the digital space.

Alex Tew came up with the crazy idea to create a blank website, with no content, and to announce that he sold every pixel for USD 1. He called it “milliondollarhomepage.com” and published it on the Internet. Probably you think that no one would advertise on such a site? Think again! The idea turned out to be so crazy that it attracted huge media interest, and even leading publishers like the BBC started to write about it. This respectively led to a serious number of visits, which in turn attracted advertisers. As you can see, today the page is full of advertising boxes, and among the clients are trade marks, such as: eBay, Yahoo!, BIG, The Times, etc. The total revenue of the site for the whole period of its existence is USD 1,037,100.

What Do Men Think About

In the beginning of 2011, one book surprisingly turned into a real bestseller on the online shop Amazon.com, and was temporarily sold even more successfully than hit titles for that time, such as “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “The Da Vinci Code". Its author was the world-infamous Sheridan Simove, and even more curious is that the book itself contained only... 200 blank pages. The title of the bestseller was "What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex”, and the white pages were probably a kind of a humorous answer to the question. The first edition of the book was sold out for a few days, and many bought it to keep notes or simply as a fun present for their friends.

USD 70,000 for Nothing

While some companies would find it difficult to persuade their clients to buy “nothing” from them, the publisher of the politically incorrect game cards “Cards Against Humanity” made such a move on Black Friday in 2015. The company announced that it sold “nothing” at the price of USD 5, and even gave the strange explanation that “The best offer for Black Friday is to buy nothing.” Believe it or not, the offer turned out to be attractive, and the company made USD 71,000 from the sale of “nothing”.

eBay Consultations

Mark Radcliffe, an English businessman who started his eBay consultancy at the beginning of the century, realizing that most of his friends were not very familiar with the platform and needed help to make use of the advantageous offers. In 2009, Radcliffe was declared by the media on the Island the first UK millionaire who got reach from such an activity. At that time, 20 people were already working in his company First2Save, having its own warehouse with an area of 900 sq. m. And in Mark’s garage, there were no longer his client’s eBay purchases, but a brand new Ferrari and Aston Martin amounting respectively to GBP 150,000 and 118,000.

Air Mattress for Rent

When you consider your next business venture, one of the possibilities would probably not be renting a corner in your guest room with an air mattress inside. It doesn’t seem like a serious business, does it? Yes, but this is how Brian Chesky started his online Airbnb project that today is estimated at the impressive... USD 31 billion. You read it correctly. In the beginning, Chesky simply created a small website where he offered one mattress in his accommodation in San Francisco, with breakfast included in the price. He then gradually uploaded to his site other offers from his acquaintances to turn Airbnb  into the most popular housing platform today with millions of offers in hundreds of cities around the world.

Craigslist

In 1995, the American developer and entrepreneur Craig Newmark created his first list with useful information for events in San Francisco that he started sending to his friends. A year later, the service became web-based and received the name Craigslist to become today the largest site for advertisements of all kinds and versions for 70 countries around the world. Starting the project simply with the desire to create a tool for sharing useful information, today Craig Newton is a billionaire because of his endeavour.

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