10 Crazy Online Ideas That Actually Worked

By Daniel Scocco

The beauty of the Internet is certainly connected with the fact that there are no rules. Anyone can create a website with any idea in mind. This means that the amount of crazy stuff you’ll see around is immense, but some of those crazy ideas end up working. Below you’ll find 10 of them.

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1. MillionDollarHomepage.com

Selling pixels on a website is a ridiculous idea but when it comes to the internet, ridiculous ideas have always been the the key to getting ridiculous amounts of money. For Alex Tew selling pixels on a website was simply supposed to be something to help him pay for college. Little did he know it would do more than that and that it would in fact help him get a head start on life and now the young man is already worth over a million dollars. Interviews on major News networks and more publicity than a 21 year old would know what to do with would follow and soon enough other people even tried to piggyback on his idea. Now that is ridiculous, ridiculously successful.

2. SantaMail.org

Each year it gets harder to convince kids that there is a real Santa Claus somewhere in the North pole. But no kid would argue if they got a reply directly from Santa himself and armed with this idea Byron Reese set out to become a real live Santa Claus for kids all over the world. Through the website SantaMail.org, kids got the chance to send their letters to ‘Santa’ at the ‘North Pole’. To get a personalized reply from Santa would cost the kids parents $9.95. This may not seem like much until you multiply it by the 300 000 responses that ‘Santa’ sent last year alone.

3. ShitMyDadSays

What do you get when you put together an unemployed writer living with his parents, a father with enough sarcastic remarks to make a grown up cry and a twitter account? In Justin Halpern’s experience, you get mentioned on The Daily show, a book deal and last but not least a sitcom deal. A mere 30 days after the writer started posting his father’s ‘wisdom’ on a twitter account, Justin Halpern was well on his way to a successful life without even trying.

4. WheresGeorge.com

We are always being told to wash our hands after touching money because we don’t know where the money has been. Now possible for you to know exactly where your money has been just by logging into WheresGeorge.com. This website tracks your money by allowing users to enter their zip codes and currency serial numbers. If the person who had the bill before you had already done the same, you will get to see just where your money has been. You will also be able to see where the bill is if the next owner does the same thing. The website is currently tracking nearly 200 million bills worth over a billion U.S. dollars.

5. PickyDomains.com

At the beginning of the ‘dot com’ era you could get paid thousands of dollars for a single domain name if it caught the attention of the right people. Dmitry Davydov’s success online went something like this, except he charged a measly fifty dollars for each domain name that he came up with. The buyers liked it since it was risk free and they didn’t have to pay anything if they didn’t like the name. Dmitry liked the idea because every single domain name he sold meant fifty dollars gotten doing something that he enjoyed. Soon enough The San Francisco Chronicle got wind of his story and with the fame came more customers. Crowd sourcing became the next step for Dmitry and the rest is history.

6. FindAGrave.Com

Visiting famous people is a creepy hobby. Visiting them after they have passed on is the idea that Jim Tipton used to achieve success. When Jim’s ‘tombstone tourism’ came to a sudden halt after he ran out of dead celebrities to visit in his native Utah, he started FindAGrave.com; a site that was dedicated to locating the graves of people buried anywhere inside the U.S. More than enough people were happy to make use of the site and soon enough genealogy research and other paid services were being offered as well on the website.

7. Doggles.com

It may have been the world’s most worthless invention ever but to Ken and Roni di Lullo, this crazy idea turned out to be worth millions. Most dog owners would never have thought to buy sunglasses for their dogs but the moment ‘Doggles’ started to be marketed as an anti UV radiation shield, thousands of dog owners rushed to get a pair for their dogs. The result? Cool looking dogs and two new members in the millionaires club with a chain of shops in 16 countries around the world.

8. GeesePoliceInc.com

It may not be an online business but it was with the help of the internet that David Marcks managed to change a relatively simple idea into a 2 million dollar a year business. In the 1980s, David noticed two things as he worked on the golf course. First, the wild geese were proving to be quite irritating and second, his border collie was unusually effective when it came to chasing away these birds. Putting these two together, David Marcks started his very own business that now comprises 27 trucks and 32 dogs with the mission of ridding any place of wild geese.

9. BugMeNot.com

Most internet users would agree that there is nothing more irritating than having to register to access a site that is already free. However, nobody would agree more to this fact than Guy King and that is why he decided to do something about it. BugMeNot.com is a free web service that was started by King to provide instant logins to free sites (like YouTube.com or NYTimes.com) and the site was a major success since many users were tired of having to waste time on pointless registration processes and having to expose their email addresses to spamming. In an ironic twist, BugMeNot.com got publicity simply because they tried to shut it down in 2004. After a simple mention of this fact in Wired magazine, the website got even more attention and was soon expanding to other niches such as Retailmenot.com.

10. ShoppingCartAbuse.Com

Only a crazy person would fall in love with an idea such as this one. Luckily for the owner of ShoppingCartAbuse.com there are plenty of crazy people out there. According to the website description, “The Center for Prevention of Shopping Cart Abuse is an organization dedicated to preventing the pervasiveness of Shopping Cart abuse”. With T-shirts and other commercial interests, the website became an instant hit and even a few Hollywood celebrities could not resist being part of this ‘campaign’.

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12 Responses to “10 Crazy Online Ideas That Actually Worked”

  • Jamie Northrup

    The Million Dollar Homepage brings back some memories, one of those things that you say why didn’t I think about it first. Made over a million bucks for something so simple and easy.

  • Faizan

    The Million Dollar Homepage seems to be the most craziest and easy. The world wide web sure is a mad place.

  • Mark Aylward

    Sweet post. It really gets the mind screaming for ideas just like these
    Thanks
    Mark

  • Schoolkid.Ph

    Wow, great ideas! This reminds me of the phrase trending the past days with Steve Jobs’ death, “Think Different”. I guess it comes out naturally from some people, and others need to work hard in channeling to this mindset.

  • Daniel

    It seems that the more ridiculous the idea, the greater the chance of success.

    Now I know where I have been going wrong with my Blogging.

    From now on I will come up with silly things that nobody really needs, then just run around convincing gullible people that they just can’t live without these services or items(That they are the latest trend, must have items).

    Come to think of it, that’s exactly what a lot of online Blog / Entrepreneur types are already doing.

  • Eric Murphy

    The first one is cool and i know about this site from very before.

  • Karel Tupas

    I have read some of the tweets of Shitmydadsays and it’s really awesome and funny. Justin Halpern’s ideas are crazy BUT clever. Don’t you agree?

    “It seems that the more ridiculous the idea, the greater the chance of success.”- I agree on this comment, Daniel. I think, people find those ridiculous ideas hilarious and something that can be considered as cheap thrills. That is why, ridiculous ideas would mean success.

  • Felix

    The first website I believed is the most craziest that work, but how people who visit that website actually picture the things that they need in order to get access to it? Logo and title are placing at the same position, as well thank you for that articles, it make me feel like giving up something you going to complete is not good enough.

  • prasad

    Most creative people make lot of money online with easy.These are actually crazy ideas specially like Doogles(that makes me laugh).Great post Daniel!

  • Swamykant

    very Crazy ideas. Nice post.

  • Menchie

    Nice one. Thanks for putting this together. This reminds us that we shouldn’t be afraid of our “crazy” ideas.

  • Patrick Sullivan

    Not that they don’t LOOK ridiculous, but Doggles are widely used to protect the eyes of military and service dogs. I’m not sure if they were invented for that purpose, but they certainly are a worthy invention!

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