The Most Ridiculous Startup Ideas that Became Successful

From Quora:

http://www.quora.com/Startups/What-are-some-of-the-most-ridiculous-startup-ideas-which-eventually-became-successful/answer/Michael-Wolfe

  • Craigslist – forever free. Forever ugly. Except for the prostitutes.
  • Virgin Atlantic – airlines are cool. Let’s start one. How hard could it be? We’ll differentiate with a funny safety video and by not being assholes.
  • Mint – give us all of your bank, brokerage, and credit card information. We’ll give it back to you with nice fonts. They will be green to make you feel richer.
  • Facebook – the world needs another MySpace or Friendster only several years later. We’ll only open it up to a few thousand overworked, anti-social Ivy Leaguers.
  • Dropbox – we are going to build a file sharing and syncing solution when the market is full of them. It will only have one feature.
  • Amazon – we’ll sell books online, even though users are still scared to use credit cards on the web. Their shipping costs will eat up any money they save. They’ll do it for the convenience, even though they have to wait a week for the book.
  • Palantir – we’ll base the company in Palo Alto, hire a bunch of new college grad engineers, many of them immigrants, hire no sales reps, and close giant deals with D.C.-based defense and intelligence agencies!
  • iOS – the idea: a brand new OS that doesn’t run a single one of the millions of applications that have been developed for Mac OS, Windows, or Linux. Only Apple can build apps for it. It won’t have cut and paste.
  • Google – we are going to build the world’s 20th search engine at a time when most of the others have been abandoned as being commoditized money losers. We’ll strip out all of the news and portal features to be sure.
  • Github – software engineers love to pay monthly fees for the rest of their lives for free open source software!
  • PayPal – people are going to use their insecure email addresses to pay each other real money, backed by a non-bank with a cute name run by 20-somethings.
  • Paperless Post – we are like Evite, except you pay us. All of your friends will know that you are an idiot.
  • Instagram – filters! That’s right, we got filters!
  • LinkedIn – how about a professional social network, aimed at busy 30- and 40-somethings. They will use it once every 5 years when they go job searching.
  • Tesla – instead of just building batteries and selling them to Detroit, we are going to build our own cars from scratch plus own the distribution network.
  • SpaceX – if NASA can do it, so can we! It ain’t rocket science.
  • Firefox – we are going to build a better web browser, even though 90% of the world’s computers already have a free one built in. One guy will do most of the work.
  • Twitter – as already covered here, WTF.
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