When you think of an entrepreneur, you likely picture a young, dynamic businessman with a trendy haircut and a slick suit. But the truth is that entrepreneurship is not limited to an exclusive group. That’s the great thing about entrepreneurship, opportunities can be found all around us. You don’t need to have a large amount of money to get started because many entrepreneurs start small and work their way up. In fact, if you’re looking for a job in an uncertain economy, starting your own business could provide just the right solution.
We’ve compiled some of the most interesting ideas entrepreneurs have turned into multi-million dollar businesses. Keep reading to learn more!
5 Interesting Ideas turned Multi-Million Dollar Businesses
- The Pet Rock
At the top of any list of interesting ideas that turned into very lucrative businesses has to be the Pet Rock. If you haven’t heard of the Pet Rock before, it’s a really simple idea. Gary Ross Dahl came up with the idea in the 1970s to sell rocks to children. Most people would laugh and ask, “what kid wants to buy a rock?” Well, it turns out a lot. But his idea wasn’t simple to sell rocks to kids. It was to market the rock as some kind of pet. He took his idea and came up with brilliant marketing and packaging that told the story that made kids want to actually pay money for a rock. This idea made him a millionaire.
So, an idea that I’m sure many people laughed at, ended up giving Gary the last laugh.
Sharing Pictures on the Internet
Most people today have heard of Instagram. After all, Mark Zuckerberg acquired Instagram for Facebook to the tune of $1 billion in 2012 and the Instagram founders Vegas trip to celebrate the sale got lots of media coverage. But even Instagram had humble beginnings. It all started with the idea that people would want to share pictures on the internet with friends and strangers. For many people born before the 2000s, the idea of sharing intimate details of their life with strangers on the internet was exactly the thing they were told not to do. However, the idea took off and grew virally in popularity.
Since Facebook acquired Instagram, the valuation increased drastically to being estimated to be over $100 billion today.
No, not the steel manhole covers, but the concrete structure that goes in the ground that the steel manhole sits in. I don’t know about you, but I thought those structures were formed on site, like a pool or foundation. While many were, crafty entrepreneurs realized they could save construction companies time and money (a lot of it) by making these structures off-site while the project was being worked on.
Precast concrete structures were first created by an engineer named John Alexander Brodie in England, and today companies selling precast manholes are making tens of millions of dollars per year.
If you haven’t caught on to the theme in this article yet, the idea is to show you that there are opportunities for entrepreneurs to make money everywhere. It’s simple a matter of looking for the opportunity, and then pursuing it once you find it. And those opportunities can literally be found anywhere.
If you haven’t heard of Spanx, the idea started in 1998 when it’s founder Sara Blakely came up with the idea for shapewear, which is essentially body shaping pantyhose. Just two years later she had the first production run being manufactured and Spanx took off! In 2012, Sara was named the world’s youngest, self-made female billionaire by Forbes Magazine.
You read all that correctly.
She started a shapewear company and in 14 years was a billionaire.
Selling Books Online
This is probably another familiar story, but it’s worth noting here. Jeff Bezos started Amazon from humble beginnings with an idea, that at the time, many thought was absolutely crazy. Who would order a book online when they could walk into a bookstore, pick it up, feel it, and preview it before buying it? That was the commonly held belief.
That was in July of 1994, when the internet was still new. Now, Amazon sells just about anything, as long as it is legal to sell/purchase. And it’s been great for business.
Today, Amazon is worth over $1.75 trillion. Yes, with a “T”.
And Jeff Bezos is worth nearly $200 billion.
So, a “crazy” idea that no one else believed in nearly 30 years ago was the start of one of the most valuable companies in the world today.
It Sounds Crazy Until Someone Does It
A common theme here is that most of the ideas seemed absolutely ridiculous at the time. However, the founders saw the vision and committed to it. Sure, maybe Jeff Bezos didn’t know Amazon would sell more than books when he started but look where it is. Maybe Sara didn’t know Spanx would make her a billionaire, but she saw the need, the opportunity, and went for it.
Find Your Opportunity and Go for It!
I hope this article inspired you to start looking for the opportunities all around you. Some of the seemingly simple ideas you see today can easily be multi-million dollar businesses a few years from now. If you see an opportunity and feel you should pursue it, go for it!