Stella Aldridge selects five of the weirdest business ideas that have actually become successful
In today’s competitive business climate, businesses need to be more creative and innovative than ever to succeed. Do you have a business idea, but fear it might not do well because it’s a little too ‘out there’?
Well, before you get on to the essential stuff like creating a website for your business and managing your social media presence, there’s something you should do. Why not weigh up just how weird your business idea is to the five strangest business ideas that became massively successful?
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to raise chickens in an urban farming environment, but aren’t sure if you’d be up for the task? Well, Rent-A-Chicken solves this puzzle for you. For £190 ($250), you can rent two chickens for the summer, along with everything you need to care for them.
From the feed to the nesting box, mother hen Leslie Suitor will hook you up. If you decide that the chicken-owning life is for you, you can buy the very same chickens you rented. Could this service be ‘eggsactly’ what you need in your life?
The Baby Mop
If you have internet access, you’ve probably seen countless images of the controversial product that has caused outrage in the parenting community: The Baby Mop. The team over BetterThanPants was inspired by a spoof of a Japanese commercial promoting a similar product.
As the name implies, the Baby Mop is partly a traditional baby onesie and partly a mop. Microfiber mop material is attached to the onesie, and as the baby crawls, it cleans the floor. The company lists the benefits of The Baby Mop as teaching babies strong work ethics, saving money on household cleaning costs, and better sleep promotion. BetterThanPants reportedly receives up to 60 orders per day.
Who doesn’t need a good cuddle with a complete stranger every now and then? Cuddle Party will allow you to get your cuddle on in professionally facilitated cuddle parties for a price, of course. Reid Mihalko and Marcia Baczynski founded the company in 2004 and the enormous demand that ensued, surprised even them.
The Cuddle Party crew claims that while most of their customers are singles, couples can also benefit from the boundary and communication workshop that starts each event. Enjoy hours of freestyle cuddling time, spooning, and nuzzling with your fellow cuddlers. One might doubt the popularity of such a service, but judging by the 46 upcoming Cuddle Party events that are almost full, you better believe it.
One day Roni Di Lullo noticed her dog, Midknight, squinting in the sun and decided she needed to step up & protect her pup’s precious eyes. And thus, the idea of goggles for dogs was born, and the Doggles product went on to sell millions – but don’t think that they are merely fashion accessories.
Doggles are used to protect U.S Army dogs’ eyes from the effects of the sun and desert sandstorms, to prevent dogs’ eyes from drying out and more. These days Doggles offers much more than goggles for dogs. Included in their products list are backpacks, boots, bandanas, and other gear your canine will love.
I Do, Now I Don’t
I Do, Now I Don’t is a peer-to-peer eCommerce site that sprouted from one man’s heartbreak experience. Siblings Mara and Joshua Opperman founded the company in 2007 after Joshua’s fiancé left him & he experienced immense difficulty selling her engagement ring for anywhere near its purchase price.
It’s estimated that 1.7 used engagement rings are sold via the platform yearly. In addition to engagement rings, the site has expanded its offering to include wedding bands, wedding dresses, and bridesmaid dresses. Don’t people know the meaning of commitment anymore?
What a weird world we live in: These business ideas should not have been successful, yet went on to make millions.
Stella Aldridge is a marketing executive with a passion for the weird and wacky.