Crazy people, geniuses, or just cunning people in the right place and time?
People who became a millionaire overnight thanks to an idea that met certain requirements: viable, profitable and sensationally simple.
Find out how they amassed great fortunes and get the inspiration you need to do it too!
The million dollar page
A smart student named Alex Tew launched milliondollarhomepage.com in 2005 with a silly idea: create a 1000 x 1000 pixel grid where advertisers could pay to place their ads in the spaces, at $ 1 per pixel. When the entire grid was complete, the revenue would be $ 1,000,000. Sounds ridiculous? Yes, but it worked. The site suffered a traffic boom. By 2006 Tew had already sold all the pixels and was already a millionaire.
Have you heard of Johnny Cupcakes? It's a start-up of a fashion brand where a guy named John Earle sells mostly T-shirts with a cupcake on them.
Sound like a poor idea? In 2008, Johnny Cupcakes had $ 3.8 million in revenue. It is still possible to get rich without using traditional advertising or marketing.
Craigslist is a very bad looking website at first glance: it is ad-free and free.
Doomed to fail? Absolutely not. In 2007 Craigslist had a revenue of $ 150 million. The text-based website works in fifty countries and almost all of its services are free; With the exception of the publication of job offers and its list of apartments.
Before Tesla Motors started to become popular, it used to be believed that people interested in sports cars are not the same people who are interested in environmentally friendly vehicles.
Tesla challenged that reasoning by creating luxury electric sports cars.
To increase the credit for this challenge, they decided not to sell them to dealers. The result? $ 226 million.
Mint.com is a website that helps you manage your finances. Sounds pretty useful, right? Well, for it to work properly, you need to enter information and sensitive data about your accounts such as web credentials for the credit card and the bank, all in one place.
Nobody would trust a web platform that asks you for all that sensitive financial information, don't you think?
Error! Mint.com has been a success and was sold for more than $ 170 million in 2009.
Sweet Leaf Tea
Clayton Christopher started Sweet Leaf Tea - Sweet Leaf Tea, in Spanish - in 1998, ignoring a chorus of naysayers.
Companies like Nestlé had already cornered the bottled iced tea market and it seemed like a suicidal idea to try to go against them.
Christopher's home-style iced teas became a hit, with 2008 revenue of $ 12 million.
Nestlé could smell which way the wind was blowing and ended the battle by buying the company in 2011.
Who would have thought that an online cryptocurrency could take off? Despite the Silk Road scandal, bitcoins continue to give a lot to talk about. When Bitcoin was initially launched, each Bitcoin was sold for $ 1.
At its best, Bitcoin was bought for $ 265 each!
SantaMail.org is a website that allows children to send their letters to Santa Claus. It looks adorable, but how could a page like this make money?
Santa Mail also offered personalized mail responses to these children. The business? It cost parents $ 9.95 for each personalized response. In 2011 alone, more than 300,000 personalized responses had been requested from Santa.
Anyone who invested in Citibank when they could do it for $ 1
Citibank was one of the banks hardest hit by the banking scandal and the subsequent economic recession. After splitting up in 2009 and agreeing to pay a $ 285 million fine in 2011, there was a point in that year when its listing quota reached $ 1 per share.
There were some audacious investors who bought a handful of shares even though speculation did not look good for the bank. Now, just two years later, the price of each Citibank share is priced at $ 50!