10 Bizarre Business Ideas that Made Millionaires

9/2/2010
by Grace Murano +
Strange Stories
318,361 views
Tags: microwaveable pillows, glasses for dogs
     

1
The married man who created an affair website for married people

The married man who created an affair website for married people
Ashleymadison.com is a dating website with a difference; it only accepts married people, or someone wanting to date a married person. The site's slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair". The site founder is a former attorney Noel Biderman, who is interestingly a happily married man. Although his mission can be perceived as very wrong (for the record: cheating is bad!), the fact that the site claims 3.2 million members suggests that it's also doing something right. (Source | Via)


2
The man who created a million dollar business of dog poop-scooping

The man who created a million dollar business of dog poop-scooping
The most noted pioneer in the poop-scooping business is Matthew Osborn, who runs Pooper-Scooper.com. He never knew that this business would one day make him a millionaire. Osborn got started back in 1987 when he opened Pet Butler in Columbus, Ohio. At the time, Osborn was working two full-time jobs and making less than $6 per hour at each. He had a wife, a daughter and a son on the way, and was desperate to make some extra money. He learned that there were about 100,000 dogs within 15 miles of his home. The business slowly took off, and despite the dirty work, Osborn says he enjoyed satisfying the customers and working outdoors in some of the nicest backyards in Ohio. Eventually Osborn employed seven people and owned a fleet of six trucks serving about 700 regular customers. While Osborn may have put poop scooping on the map, Matt "Red" Boswell is taking it into the future. Boswell owns the Texas-based Pet Butler. Today, Pet Butler is the largest pet waste removal service in the country, and serves about 3,000 clients. (Source | Via)


3
The teenager kid who made millions selling jam out of his grandmother's recipe

The teenager kid who made millions selling jam out of his grandmother's recipe
While most successful entrepreneurs make their money building popular Web sites, Fraser Doherty built his empire using a more traditional way. Fraser started making jams at the age of 14 from his grandmother's recipes in his parents' Scotland kitchen, and by 16 left school to work on his jam business SuperJam full-time. SuperJam sells around 500,000 jars a year, which currently has around 10 percent of UK jam market. Doherty's stake is now worth $1 to 2 million. (Source)


4
The company who made a fortune selling glasses for dogs

The company who made a fortune selling glasses for dogs
Eyewear for a pet dog? Sounds pretty dumb doesn't it? But not if someone actually starts manufacturing them and turns them into a million dollar business. The business has received attention and coverage from CNN, Women's World, People, Regis and Kelly, National Geographic and Animal Planet. Starting off with goggles, they have now expanded their business into a host of other accessories for their animals which include Backpacks, Flotation Jackets, T Shirts, Caps, and Toys. (Source | Via)


5
The man who became a millionaire producing plastic wishbones

The man who became a millionaire producing plastic wishbones
Who would ever think that there would be a market for fake plastic wishbones? Well… there is! Ken Ahroni was frustrated that every year only two people got to make a wish around the Thanksgiving table. So he decided to create LuckyBreak, a company that would make synthetic wishbones with the sound and feel of real dried turkey wishbones. Now the company makes 30,000 wishbones a day, selling custom-designed, imprinted units for personal, corporate and promotional use. Their sales are over $2.5 Million per year. (Source)


6
The housewife who invented the microwaveable pillows

The housewife who invented the microwaveable pillows
Kim Levine, invented Wuvit, little bags that come in various patterns and provide soothing penetrating moist heat. Kim realized that if she put some corn in cloth, sewed it together and then put it in the microwave; a warm relaxing pillow would be created. She rushed to create the simple product idea with her sewing machine and her multi-million dollar empire was born! Initially, Kim thought the Wuvit® concept would just be great gift for her kids and for people in her local area. But soon she realized her idea had huge potential. When local parents started calling her in the middle of the night asking for another soothing pillow because their kids could not sleep without the Wuvit®, she knew she had a fabulous opportunity. She started going to local retailers and craft shows, and then eventually got a major break when Saks Department Store decided to put the Wuvit® products in their stores! Now she's a millionaire and has even written a book about her retail endeavors! (Source | Via)


7
The guy who sold pixels at a webpage for $1 Million

The guy who sold pixels at a webpage for $1 Million
Back in 2005, a 21-year-old student in England named Alex Tew launched The Million Dollar Homepage, through which he sold the pixels of a 1000×1000 grid for $1 each. Although it was an extremely simple idea, the unique project attracted enormous amounts of press coverage, and eventually earned $1,037,100 in a matter of months - the final slot on the page went for $38,100. It also spawned countless copycat websites that virtually all failed, since the idea was no longer novel. (Source)


8
The guy who created a company that provides excuse letters to miss work

The guy who created a company that provides excuse letters to miss work
Do you need an excuse to miss work? A company has launched an excuse absence network service for U.S. employees and students which offers a load of excuses you can use to be absent from work. The Excused Absence Network provides all your excuse letter needs for just $25 per excuse note. These can be notes which appear to come from professional doctor or hospital and even fake jury summons and authentic-looking funeral service program with poems and pallbearers. The founder started the business for $300 and currently runs it off a laptop in a small Oklahoma town. The site gets about 15,000 hits a month. (Source | Via)


9
The monks who sell over 2,5 million in printer cartridge

The monks who sell over 2,5 million in printer cartridge
Father Bernard McCoy is CEO of LaserMonks.com, an Internet retailer that sells discounted printer cartridges and other office supplies. Customers include individuals and churches, along with giants such as Morgan Stanley (Research) and the U.S. Forest Service. It's a lucrative business. Sales have risen from $2,000 in 2002, the company's first full year of operation, to around $2.5 million in 2005. The idea for LaserMonks.com came to Father McCoy one day when his printer ran out of ink. He shopped around for a new ink cartridge but couldn't find one that was reasonably priced. In the beginning LaserMonks.com consisted of a few monks sitting around with black powder and empty plastic cartridges, filling a few orders a day. Today the monks say they have served more than 50,000 customers, and they process 200 to 300 daily orders for a broad range of school and office supplies. (Source | Via)


10
The girl who made a 1.5 million fortune by offering MySpace layouts

The girl who made a 1.5 million fortune by offering MySpace layouts
A teenage girl who had a flair for the creative set up a site called WhateverLife to offer layouts for MySpace and free tutorials. Her numbers are now impressive. The 17 year- old high school dropout has made more than $1 million. She earns as much as $70K a month, and owns a website that attracts more than 7 million monthly visitors and 60 million page views. (Source)

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