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.
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.
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
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”.
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.
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.
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.