1. Selling One Million Pixels
In 2005, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old English student, needed a way to pay for his university education. He came up with a money-making idea that was so crazy that it just might work. The plan was to make a website with a 1,000 x 1,000 grid of tiny squares. He would then sell each square for $1 each to companies who could place a tiny advertisement on the squares they purchased. The site became an internet sensation and Tew sold all 1,000,000 pixels. The last block of 1,000 pixels were auctioned on eBay, bringing the total revenue to $1,037,100USD.
2. $2.6 Million Dollar Pizza
Do you think that it is possible to buy a pizza, keep it for fourteen years, and then sell it for $2.6m USD? One man did just that. Okay, it may not have been an actual pizza, but it was related. American Chris Clark registered the domain name pizza.com in 1994. He thought that owning the name may make it easier for his consulting firm to get a contract with a pizza company. Not thinking much about it, Chris held onto the domain name by paying the $20USD annual fee each year. In 2008, he decided to put the domain name up for auction. It sold for a whopping $2.6m. That’s enough money for a lot of pizza!
3. The Pet Business is Hard
Pet-lovers, do you ever get sick of feeding, walking, or bathing your pet? Gary Dahl, an American advertising executive, came up with a solution to this problem in 1975. He developed the Pet Rock, which was exactly what it sounds like. For $4USD, you could purchase a cardboard pet carrier containing a pet rock and an instruction manual. The idea became a pop culture fad and Gary sold 1.5 million pet rocks in a short amount of time, making him a millionaire.
4. Multimillionaire Masseuse
How many massages would it take to earn a few million dollars? For Bonnie Brown, it was less than you would think. In 1999, Bonnie answered a job listing for a part-time massage therapist at a little start-up with 40 employees. That little start-up went by the name Google and it paid Bonnie a meager salary supplemented by a lot of stock options. Five years later, Bonnie cashed in her options in the wildly successful company, making her a multimillionaire. She went on to write a book about the experience.
5. Sunglasses…for dogs
Plenty of people have made millions selling sunglasses to people, but why should humans be the only ones protected from that big, bright ball in the sky? Dog owner Roni Di Lullo noticed that her dog squinted in the sunlight. She decided to develop a pair of sunglasses/goggles that are designed to fit the shape of a dog’s head. Other dog owners were willing to pay for sunglasses for their canine friends, and Doggles grew into a multi-million dollar company.
6. Wearing T-Shirts
Jason Sadler made a fortune getting dressed in the morning. In 2008, he started a company that involved companies paying him to wear a shirt with their message and promoting it on social media. The first year, he made $70,000USD. He then hired employees to wear the shirts and his company ended up making him over a million dollars before he closed it. Like the multimillionaire masseuse, Jason published a book about the experience.