10 Ridiculous Startup Ideas that became a success

We tend to think there is a brilliant idea behind every successful startup. On the contrary, many multi-million dollar companies that we know of today, started from quite ridiculous ideas. We prepared a list of 10 ridiculous startup ideas that became very successful.

Have you ever heard of “Pet Rock”? In 1975, marketing executive Gray Dahl introduced “Pet Rock”, as the name implies he sold rocks as a pet. He bought smooth stones from Mexico’s Rosarito Beach and sold them in card boxes that were labeled as pets and the boxes even had breathing holes.

When we think about it, the question of “who would buy a rock in a box?” arises but Gray Dahl sold 1 million pet rocks for 4 dollars each and became a millionaire.  There are many ridiculous startup ideas like “Pet Rock” here our top 10 list.


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10 years ago Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates started facebook, initially it was designed only for Harvard students but it quickly expanded and today Facebook dominates the market.

Social networks existed before facebook but myspace and other web pages was not a success. Yet Zuckerberg and his friends wanted to create another social network. Producing a service that has a very little demand does sound ridiculous but today Facebook dominates the market.


Amazon was founded by Jeff Bezos, a former Vice president of a Wall Street Firm, in 1994. It started out as an online book store, over the time its product line was expanded.

When Bezos founded Amazon, people were very skeptical about online shopping, not a good time for establishing an online retailer, but still he went ahead with his business model and it turned out to be one of the most profitable and most successful startups.

Today Amazon is the leading online retailer in the United States.

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Paypal was founded by Max Levchin, Peter Thiel, Luke Nosek and Ken Howery in 1998 as Confinity. Paypal created a system for online money transaction in a time it was not favored by people.

People needed to use their email accounts and bank details to send money via a system that was not belong to a bank but in 2014, Paypal’s revenue was 8.3 billion dollars.


King.com was founded by a team of seven in 2003, by the end of 2003 the firm was facing bankruptcy. With the rise of social media and spread of smartphones, social/casual gaming become mainstream.

King.com steadily increased its revenues after that point, its master piece Candy Crush was a huge success. If you have not played it yet, it is a game that you crush candies, sounds ridiculous right.

On November 2015 Activision – Blizzard, one of the leading gaming companies, announced that it will buy King.com for 5.9 billion dollars. The deal will be completed by the second quarter of 2016.


In 2009 Swedish programmer Markus Persson founded Mojang to develop the famous Minecraft, a voxel based survival game. In 2011 it was released and turned out to be quick hit.

Persson started to develop Minecraft when Triple A titles were dominating the video game industry. Companies like EA Games were investing millions of dollars in technology and game development.

Developing an indie game that has outdated graphics and no story at all does not sound like a brilliant idea. In 2013 Mojang was bought by Microsoft for 2.5 billion dollars.


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In 2010, while social media and smartphones were slowly dominating our daily lives, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger developed Instagram, they only offered their users a few filters when taking photos. And a platform to share them.

Twitter and Facebook was dominating the market, both allowed users to share photos, Instagram came in and offered filters for photos. In 2012 Instagram was bought by Facebook for 1 billion dollars.


Have you ever used Yahoo answers? A platform where users ask questions and other users answer, Quora does the very same job, it is a simple question and answer website, and there are plenty of those websites like that around the web.

It was founded by Alex D’angelo and Charlie Cheever, former Facebook employees, in 2009. By January 2011 Quora had 500.000 registered users. Today Quora is valued over 900 million dollars.

Infinity Ward

In 2002 Vince Zampella, Grant Collier and Jason West founded Infinity Ward. Activision provided a small amount of funds to Infinity Ward and the company started to develop a World War 2 first person shooter game.

A genre that many gaming companies have developed hundreds of games. Infinity Wards’ game was called “Call of Duty.” In 2003 the game was released and it was a huge success, it won 90 ‘game of the year’ awards and 50 other awards. After the release Activision bought the company.

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Michael Dell created Dell Computer Corporation in 1984. It’s headquarters was his dorm-room at University of Texas at Austin. Michael Dell dropped out of school to focus his computer firm.

Was it a very great idea dropping out of school to establish a computer firm when the market was dominated giants like IBM, Commodore and Apple? In fact, it was a great idea because today Dell is the third largest PC vendor in the world and ranked 51st in Fortune 500 list.

Taleworld Entertainment

Taleworld Entertainment, a Turkish firm based in Ankara, was founded by Armağan Yavuz who studied computer sciences at Bilkent University, in 2005. Their first game, Mount and Blade, was an open world medieval action role playing game, a sub-genre that many company developed many games.

During the development the company ran out of money and decided to sell unfinished copy of the game and promised that buyers will receive every update free. The idea turned out to be a success. In 2007 the game was published by paradox interactive and sold more than one million copies.

Taleworld earned roughly 3 million dollars from Mount and Blade. They are now working on a sequel titled Mount and Blade II: Banner Lord. Who could imagine that would ever be a success?

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