How to get rich the smart way? Read what some creative people did:
1. Million Dollar Homepage
1000000 pixels, charge a dollar per pixel – that’s perhaps the dumbest idea for online business anyone could have possible come up with. Still, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old who came up with the idea, is now a millionaire.
What is the idea? (from FAQ on the site)
The idea is simple: to try and make $1m (US) by selling 1,000,000 pixels for $1 each. Hence, ‘The Million Dollar Homepage”. The main motivation for doing this is to pay for my degree studies, because I don’t like the idea of graduating with a huge student debt. I know people who are paying off student loans 15-20 years after they graduated. Not a nice thought!
So, everyone is welcome to buy my pixels, which are available in 100-pixel ‘blocks’ (each measuring 10×10 pixels). You will see the homepage is divided into 10,000 of these 100-pixel blocks (hence there are 1,000,000 pixels in total). The reason for selling them in 100-pixel blocks is because anything smaller would be too small to display anything meaningful.
You can buy as many pixels as you like, as long as there are some available (see the live stats in the top right corner of the page). When you buy some pixels, you can then display an image/ad/logo of your choice in the space you have purchased. You can also have the image click through to your own website. However, no obscene or offensive images are allowed.
The pixels you buy will be displayed on the homepage permanently. The homepage will not change. Using some of the money I make from the site, I guarantee to keep it online for at least 5 years, but hopefully much longer. I want it to become a kind of internet time capsule. So, in the long run, I believe the pixels will offer good value. You will have a piece of internet history!
Ok, how’s that for a brilliant idea. Get a postal address at North Pole, Alaska, pretend you are Santa Claus and charge parents 10 bucks for every letter you send to their kids? Well, Byron Reese sent over 200000 letters since the start of the business in 2001, which makes him a couple million dollars richer.
About SantaMail from their site
Since 2002, Santa has been helping us write over 275,000 personalized Christmas letters. Santa makes sure that we use the finest heirloom-quality, acid-free linen paper so that his letters last a lifetime.
As Santa’s helpers, we help Santa print his letters and then mail them to him in North Pole, Alaska where he affixes a Christmas stamp on it and sends it on the way to your child. From there, the letter gets postmarked and mailed. (After December 16, he has us mail them directly from Austin, Texas so they reach the children in time!).
Create goggles for dogs and sell them online? Boy, this IS the dumbest idea for a business. How in the world did they manage to become millionaires and have shops all over the world with that one? Beyond me.
About Doggles from their site
We are famous for Doggles goggles for dogs – the first and only eye protection designed and created just for dogs! Seen on CNN, Regis and Kelly, The Today Show, Good Morning America and many others, they are quite a hit with everyone who has tried them! We are also an environmentally conscious organization, using as much “green” or recycled fabrics and materials in our products as possible, always keeping in mind that what is good for our planet is also good for our pets. Our standards are high, and you will see this in each and every one of our products. We are market leaders in the design and manufacture of tough and durable and yes, even “green”, dog toys. Please be sure to check our offerings in the toy category as you look through our site. Our outdoor line has won the praise of many an outdoor enthusiast as we continue to grow and improve the line. And of course, our fashion sense has never ended as we are always adding and improving to our fashion harness line. We have a wide range of products that are truly functional and have helped many pets over the years as we continue to innovate in the pet products field. As always, keep an eye on us for more.
LaserMonks.com is a for-profit subsidiary of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank, an eight-monk monastery in the hills of Monroe County, 90 miles northwest of Madison. Yeah, real monks refilling your cartridges. Hallelujah! Their 2005 sales were $2.5 million! Praise the Lord.
You can’t sell antenna ball online. There is no way. And surely it wouldn’t make you rich. But this is exactly what Jason Wall did, and now he is now a millionaire.
Create a deck of cards featuring exercise routines, and sell it online for $18.95. Sounds like a disaster idea to me. But former Navy SEAL and fitness instructor Phil Black reported last year sales of $4.7 million. Surely beats what military pays.
How would you like to go on a date with an HIV positive person? Paul Graves and Brandon Koechlin thought that someone would, so they created a dating site for HIV positive folks last year. Projected 2006 sales are $110,000, and the two hope to have 50,000 members by their two-year mark.
8. Designer Diaper Bags
Christie Rein was tired of carrying diapers around in a freezer bag. The 34-year-old mother of three found herself constantly stuffing diapers for her infant son into freezer bags to keep them from getting scrunched up in her purse. Rein wanted something that was compact, sleek and stylish, so in November 2004, she sat down with her husband, Marcus, who helped her design a custom diaper bag that’s big enough to hold a travel pack of wipes and two to four diapers. With more than $180,000 in sales for 2005, Christie’s company, Diapees & Wipees, has bags in 22 different styles, available online and in 120 boutiques across the globe for $14.99.
Hire another person to think of a cool domain name for you? No way people would pay for this. Actually, naming domain names for others turned out a thriving business, especially, when you make the entire process risk free. PickyDomains currently has a waiting list of people who want to PAY the service to come up with a snappy memorable domain name. PickyDomains is expected to hit six figures this year.
10. Lucky Wishbone Co.
Fake wishbones. Now, this stupid idea is just destined to flop. Who in the world needs FAKE PLASTIC wishbones? A lot of people, it turns out. Now producing 30,000 wishbones daily (they retail for 3 bucks a pop) Ken Ahroni, the company founder, expects 2006 sales to reach $1 million.
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Unusual Business Ideas That Work