5 Stupid Business Ideas That Became Successful

small business idea
(Last Updated On: December 16, 2020)

Have you ever had business ideas that were so bad, they were good? But you probably just laughed it off and thought, “of course not, that’s ridiculous!”

Well, some people just went ahead and took the plunge with their crazy ideas and today, their businesses are making millions and are super popular around the world.

Here is a list of stupid business ideas that became successful:

1. Cheating on your Spouse

Ashley Madison

If you haven’t heard of Ashley Madison yet, let us tell you how this business thrives on a moral flaw – infidelity.

Ashley Madison is a social media website/app that caters to people that want to cheat on their partners. Only married people or those who want to date married people can sign up on the site and hook up, anonymously!

Ironically, a happily married man (or is he?) is the founder of the site. The site’s slogan? “Life is short, have an affair.”

Ashley Madison went on to become a million-dollar company. As of 2014, the website reported a revenue of $115 million. However, it lost its reputation for discretion in 2015 when a cyberattack exposed data of 32 million users.


2. Goggles for your Dog

Goggles for your Dog

Bow-wow! Just like the dogs chilling in “Who Let The Dogs Out”, there’s a business that manufactures specially designed goggles for dogs.

Doggles was the brainchild of Roni Di Lullo, a programmer for HP. What started as a personal experiment to protect her dog’s eyes, went on to become a large scale business.

“I hadn’t really thought of it as, ‘This is just a product I’m going to sell a ton of. ‘… It really was for fun, but once I did it, I realized there really was a market for this,” Di Lullo said in an interview.


3. Pillows in the Oven!

Pillows in the Oven

We know what happens when you put corn in the microwave. But what happens if you put corn in a cotton bag and put the bag in the microwave? You’ll have a soft, soothing pillow!

Kim Lavine, founder of Wuvit® stumbled upon the idea of making microwaveable pillows while watching her husband feed deer. She thought the pillows would make for a nice gift for her children. Little did she know the idea would go on to make more than 2 million dollars in less than 3 years!


4. Smiley Face

Smiley Face

Did you know the smiley face, which is a billion-dollar business today, was the invention of Harvey Ball, a commercial graphic artist who just got paid $45 for patent rights? He designed it as a part of his company’s friendship project and came up with the idea in less than 10 minutes!

Two brothers Bernard and Murray Spain bought rights to the design and started using it on every product possible in their novelty store. They opened a dollar-store chain and made millions. They sold it off to Dollar Tree for $500 million in 2000.


5. Pet Rock

Pet Rock

The pet rock took the world by a storm in the 90s when Gary Dahl came up with the genius idea of packaging a stone, setting it in a nest of wood shavings and placing it in a cardboard box with holes along with a training manual full of puns and jokes!

The idea was to have a pet, without having to take care of it. What better than a stone? Dahl sold 1.5 million rocks for $27 million!

Talk about turning stones to gold!

Do you have some crazy business ideas? Need some motivation? Start something big today!

Read more: New Small Business Ideas from Entrepreneur


  1. Thank you, Rapti for an awesome post. Even though it is a two years old post but still worth your time reading it. Good luck for your business.

  2. Thanks for sharing this article. This just shows that we can start whatever business it is as long as you know how to handle and run it.I also believe that we can be successful if we work hard.

  3. I got intrigued with the title of this article, so attention catchy! I guess the title says it all. Thanks for sharing this ideas. They definitely unique businesses.

  4. I wouldnt say them as stupid as thats would make it very bold, instead i would say, it was their unique idea which had become a fad for that time like pet rock, now nobody buys it unless he is a very big fan.

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