6 Weird and Unexpected Startup Ideas That Actually Worked

Do you believe that your startup ideas are a bit too weird for mainstream success?

Maybe that dream you’ve been secretly nurturing has been kept on the back-burner because you’ve been sure it wouldn’t make it.

But perhaps you’re completely wrong…

Here are some startup ideas that really do fit in the categories of strange, unexpected and weird, and yet each and every one of them is a resounding success.

1. TaskRabbit

TaskRabbit connects people who are strapped for cash with people who have a ton of jobs to do, and just don’t want to do it. You need your furniture built, car washed, home cleaned? Connect with someone on this website and it shall be done.

2. Who’s Afraid of that Ghost?

Spud Pickles isn’t. This freaky startup is home to some of the most well-known and popular ghost hunting apps used by paranormal investigators everywhere. Want to know if that noise really is Aunt Matilda and not another potentially expensive plumbing bill? Here you go…

3. Get Something

So when you spend your money, you invariably get something, right? The SomethingStore is built entirely around the idea that if you spend $10 you will get something. You have no idea what it will be, only that it will be new and equal to the value of your spend. It could be completely useless or something you’ve always wanted and the only way to find out is to buy, well, something.

4. Prize Candle

People love winning prizes. They also love the challenge of not knowing whether or not their luck will out. Prize Candle has taken three clever concepts and mixed them into one insanely successful idea. You buy a candle, when the candle burns down there is a ring at the bottom with a prize code attached. You enter your code online and you then discover if you’ve won. Today they’ve got a $1 million jackpot running and their usual main prize value is $ 5,000. Not bad for a candle which costs $24…

5. Love a Rock Today

This is probably one of the wackiest and yet most brilliant of startup ideas — Pet Rock. Gray Dahl started his own business selling rocks from Rosarito Beach in Mexico. He polished them off, popped them in a box with breathing holes and sent them off to willing buyers. He sold a million, he charged $4 per rock and he died at the age of 78, a very smart and happy millionaire.

6. Minecraft

It seems impossible to imagine today that Minecraft was the laughing stock of yesterday. When Notch (Markus Persson) built the game it was so far from the high-end, glossy graphics of the AAA games of the time (and now) that few people, including Markus, anticipated how successful it would become. And today that game has completely redefined the idea of gaming success.

Not only has it continued to grow, claim hordes of gamers and acclaim, but the sheer scale of its adaptability and inventiveness has seen people build working computers inside the game. And now it is being used as a space to test human-AI collaboration. Not bad for a game that had zero storyline and terrible graphics.

Does your weird and unexpected startup idea have the potential to grow big? Get started with our free Entrepreneur’s Guide to Startup Success.

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