Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wacky Business Ideas that Worked

1. Million Dollar Homepage – Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from England, came up with the idea in 2005 to have a home page with a 1,000,000 pixels that he would sell for $1 each. Businesses bought the idea and bought pixel grids where they could provide a pixel image and link to their website. Tew came up with the idea to pay for his university education, but it made him a millionaire.

2. PickyDomains – Would you pay another person to think of a domain name for you? PickyDomains actually thought the idea would work – now the company has a waiting list of people waiting to pay for them to come up with a snazzy domain name. It’s even a risk-free service – you don’t have to pay if you don’t like the name.

3. Doggles – Here’s a crazy business idea – goggles for dogs. However, the idea has been a hit among dog owners who want to protect their dogs’ eyes from the sun or help certain eye conditions. The U.S. Military even has dogs wearing Doggles to protect their eyes from dust in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

4. LaserMonks (Now 123InkJets) - In medieval times, monks used to make wine and spirits. But the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank in the hills of Monroe County, WI, founded LaserMonks, a service to refill cartridges and offer prayers for customers. Although they made millions in their first few years of business, the abbey has since closed down due to competition.

5. Antenna Balls – Jason Wall’s crazy idea was the antenna ball – those goofy character heads that you put on the end of your antenna. And people actually buy them online – he has made millions. If that’s not enough, he named his company Happy Balls. It doesn’t get much better than that.

6. FitDeck – Would you buy a pack of cards for $18.95? Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black created a deck of cards with exercise routines and sold them for that price, making $4.7 million just last year.

7. PositivesDating.Com – There are all sorts of dating sites out there, but what about one for HIV positive people? It’s an unlikely idea, but it helped Paul Graves and Brandon Koechlin make lots of money.

8. Designer Diaper Bags – Christie Rein was a mom of three who was tired of carrying diapers in freezer bags in her purse. So she and her husband created stylish compact diaper bags to hold wipes and diapers. I guess normal diaper bags weren’t trendy enough. The company, Diapees & Wipees, has made loads of money catering to celebrity moms and fashionistas.

9. SantaMail – What if someone actually got paid to answer all those letters to Santa each year? Byron Reese got a postal address at North Pole, Alaska and charges $10 for every letter he sends back – he has sent over 200,000 letters since 2001.

10. Lucky Wishbone Co. – Would a wish still come true if it was made on a fake plastic wishbone? Some people seem to think so. This company makes 30,000 wishbones each day for $3 each, which has made its founder millions.

This article was submitted by Molly Cunningham. She is a business expert who owns the site Business Administration Degree.