Successful business ideas are somewhat rare. Some businesses can take off because they are a simple, but brilliant, idea. Then there are some businesses that succeeded because they fulfilled a demand that no one else thought of fulfilling. If you want to get a successful enterprise to launch, it takes a lot of courage and great business acumen to do so. However, sometimes there are those who had a seemingly- insane idea that, on paper, should never have worked. Consumers are constantly looking for the newest idea and sometimes, the crazier it is, the more attention it attracts. Below is a list of some of the craziest business ideas that actually worked and made millions.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? Every child loves the Christmas season, with the snow on the ground, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, and the belief of a magical man in a red suit is climbing down their chimney to deliver presents. All the buzz surrounding Christmas gave entrepreneur Byron Reese an idea: he obtained a postal address in Alaska and started his Santa Mail business. Through Santa Mail, parents would pay ten dollars for personalized letters from the big man (Santa Claus) himself sent to their children. Starting the business in 2001, Reese has sent over 500,000+ letters.
In 2005, an enterprising student by the name of Alex Tew thought of the unique idea to sell website ads per ten pixels, similar to how billboards do per square meter. Now, while a pixel is the lowest unit in a display screen, a typical LCD monitor displays over 1,024 pixels meaning to buy ad space the size of an avatar would cost you a pretty penny. However, this idea became a hit and, in less than a year, this million-dollar website which comprised of mish-mashed ads brought in $1,037,100 in gross income. Tew has since then co-founded the meditation app Calm.
The Pet Rock is probably the original crazy business idea that worked. As the story goes, in 1975 Gary Dahl who was an advertising executive in California was listening to his friends complain about their pets. Through this conversation, he made the joke that he would rather keep a rock as a pet. What seemed like a joke led him to write a thirty-two-page official training manual, and he began selling rocks as pets. He packaged the rocks in boxes with air holes in them with little straw beds to lay on. While the pet rock phenomenon only lasted a mere six months, it helped Dahl become $15 million richer. In fact, recently in 2012, pet rocks have become popular yet again.