two girls talking
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

5 Wacky Startup Ideas that Made Millions

Stuck in the 9 to 5 rat race? This scene is probably depressingly familiar: you’re in the middle of yet another needless meeting, daydreaming about getting out and maybe starting your own business.

5 Wacky Startup Ideas that Made Millions

But you’ve had this exact scenario thousands of times, it’s like Groundhog Day.

But you know it’ll probably never happen for you.

So many questions, little confidence, no idea where to start. Sometimes, a ‘crazy’ business idea pops into your head, and you get all excited. You convince yourself it’s pointless, not realistic.

Before you put away your dreams, the fact is that wacky ideas work. These are 3 startup ideas that made millions with concepts that would get them laughed out of Shark Tank.

Wacky Websites 

Sandwiched between two specific start-ups, I’m going to give you a bit of a selection. These are wacky sites that are either just bizarre or just work on a concept that leaves you thinking, “What?! Does that actually make money?”


The video gaming market is a big business, with many blogs making millions by simply providing tips and walk-throughs. But iGamers are often left to fend for themselves.

Some companies, like Asiabet, have leveraged their knowledge of all things gambling from sports betting to choosing the right games, to aggregate tips for players. But there’s still plenty of opportunities for the savvy affiliate marketer to carve out a niche in iGaming.

Meme sites

How much time do you spend on pointless memes (granted, they do make you laugh out loud)? My answer: too much time. Entrepreneurs know this and deliver accordingly. Meme sites are huge and make ridiculous amounts of money through advertising.

Case in point: in 2007, Kari Unebasami sold his cat meme site for $2 million. And cat memes are still popular today, with cat-themed NFT’s selling for hundreds of thousands.

This is the kind of thing you can do. Think outside the box, and don’t be afraid to implement your ideas. Blogs and websites are super cheap to start (in fact, one of our top 13 low-cost small business ideas for creatives!), so no excuses.


On this website, the winner is the person who pays the most money. The reward? You get the highest score, a place on the leaderboard. It’s that simple.

Entrepreneur Marc Kohlbrugge may not have made millions, but thousands for a silly idea is still impressive.

Rubber Shoelace Replacement (Hickies) 

When he was just a kid in Argentina, Gaston Frydlewski absolutely hated tying his shoelaces. They’d always come undone, end up flopping to the side. His dream? Developing a company that would replace them completely.

Seems kinda silly, right? I mean, grow up, tie your shoelaces. But Gaston wanted to make it work, even though investors kept rejecting his attempts at funding. In the end, he launched Hickies with money he earned as an investment banker.

The company started small, making brightly colored shoelace replacements with a no-tie system. Each product costs $14.99, and they’re available in 45 countries. They’ve sold over 2 million units, have had over $6 million in external investments, and they’re working with Adidas.

All that for a simple rubber no-tie shoelace replacement. The tricks to their success? They learned from their initial startup mistakes, they created value, had a clear sales and marketing plan, and focused on a single product (and made the best one in the market).

The Pet Rock 

Yes, this is a thing. In 1975, an advertising guy by the name of Gary Dahl created his new venture: a pet rock. He packaged basic smooth stones from Mexico, placed them in a cute cardboard box (including breathing holes for the ‘pets’), and an instruction booklet.

Silly idea, crazy results. In just 6 months, he’d sold 1 million units. At 4 bucks each, that’s four million dollars in revenue. For a rock, you can find for free on a beach.

Perhaps the coolest part of this is the backstory. Dahl was in a bar with friends, listening to their complaints about pets. Feeding, walking, vet appointments, destroyed furniture, you name it.

He suggested a ‘pet rock’ as a hassle-free alternative. And the rest is history. 

Just Do It = Success 

If you want to hit the Forbes’ best startup list, you have to take that first step.

The idea may seem crazy, your family members may threaten to disown you, and your cat will hate you for taking yet another photo for the meme site. But just do it. Take that step.

Okay, boring final point: you’re going to need to work. I’m talking about burning the midnight oil, giving up part of your social life, and missing nights out with friends.

Sure, try and keep a semblance of a work/life balance, but come to terms with the fact that without hard graft, you’re not going to get where you want to be.


Some other articles you might find of interest:

Would you like to better understand how to drive and increase traffic to your startup website?

How to Drive & Increase Traffic to Your Startup Website

Do you have what it takes to start and run an online business?

5 Key Skills You Must Have to Start & Run an Online Home Based Business

Join Our Small Business Community

Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.