A lot of people play it safe, when trying to make money online. Ebay, Adsense, affiliate marketing, consulting or something along those lines. And, more often than not, these conventional ideas fail. Here is a list of nine people who weren’t afraid to try crazy ideas online and made a lot of money at it.
A Homepage Worth Millions
Who would ever think that you can be rich out of being desperate? Well, Alex Tew can give you a lot of answers for that. When he was 21 years old, he decided to earn more cash for college by selling $1 pixels on his website. Talk about crazy, but he got his million in half a year’s time, and even major television stations wanted to interview the kid. He got so famous that hackers attacked his site, and many imitated his ideas so much that Alex’s latest projects dwindled in the end. Still, he made hi s millions, all because he needed to pay his tuition and books—and look where he’d gone from that.
This is another site that can raise many eyebrows. Justin Halpern, an unemployed writer, had to move back to his parents’ house. As if this wasn’t mortifying enough, he had to live with his father’s constant jokes all throughout his stay. So what did he do? He created a Twitter account just for his father’s jokes. It was a huge hit; and in less than a month, the Daily Show was knocking at his door for an interview. What’s more, there were sitcoms and book deal offers that followed as well. This gives you one lesson in life: record your parent’s nagging from time to time. Who knows where it can take you, right?
Do you have trouble naming things? Well, Dmitry Daydov doesn’t. In fact, he likes it so much he decided to make a career out of it. So what did he do? He approached people who had trouble coming up with a domain name and offered them a great deal: if he could come up with a cool domain name, then they would pay him $50; if he didn’t, he would get nothing—as in “zero” nothing. This idea became an instant hit, and soon, he had trouble completing all the orders by himself. It became so popular that San Francisco wrote a story about him—and others joined too. (As a side note, you can check out a list of blog name generators on our list if you are coming up with a blog name for your site)
Ever feel irritated with those annoying websites that require users to register to get full access of their site? Well, Guy King feels for you. In fact, he feels for you so much, he decided to create a website that provided logins and passwords to people who didn’t like to give their email addresses during registration. His site became a success in 2004, and even caused the wrath of Wired magazine (who reportedly made an effort to shut his si te down). Today, BugMeNot has branched out in other similar niches, like RetailMeNot.com.
It must be fun being a dog–especially if your owners are Ken and Roni di Lullo. Not only do you get a tasty bone, but you also get to try out their invention–a Doggle sunglass. Yup, it sounds a bit cuckoo, but you’ll be surprised that their Doggles products are now sold in 4,500 different outlets in 16 countries. How did they do it? By marketing these sunglasses as a protective eyepiece that shields harmful UV radiation from a dog’s eyes. Many people think it’s the most “uncool” invention ever, but you’ve got to admit that even a man’s furry bestfriend looks cool in Doggles.
Can you make $2 million dollars just by chasing geese away? Well,David Marcks can. He created GeesePoliceInc.com to prove his point—that there is money in anything. Apparently, he worked at a golf course that had many wild geese in it; and he decided to get rid of them by offering the services of his good, old, trusty Border Collie. And what did his dog do? He chased all the geese out of from the golf course. Today, he uses 27 trucks and 32 dogs to chase those poor, hapless geese away from municipal parks, golf courses, and land owners.
Do you like visiting graves of famous people? Then you should talk to Jim Tipton. He liked locating dead celebrities so much he even turned it into a profitable business. No, they’re not all famous, but that person has a grave—and if he has one, then most likely David will find it for you. His business became so famous that there is even a term created for it: “Tombstone Tourism”.
It’s difficult to explain what this site does, so we’ll let the site do the talking: “The Center for Prevention of Shopping Cart Abuse is an organization dedicated to preventing the pervasiveness of Shopping Cart abuse”. Yes, it is a business—and yes, it is a successful commercial project as well. For other questions—go ask them.
Ever wonder where the money you spent is right now? Yes, we’re talking about the actual money itself—you know, the one with the dead presidents? Well, the site works by getting the serial number of your money and tracking where it is right now. Don’t think it’s a joke; as of today, Where’s George is tracking around 190,623,138 bills, which has a whopping total of around USD$1,028,594,634.