The days when you have to work a regular 9-to-5 job to make money are long gone. Kids and people of all ages are making made money for doing innovative, and sometimes odd, things. Here are 10 examples of people who got insanely rich by doing very strange things that will make you quit your job to try weird things to become a millionaire:
10. YouTube videos
PewDiePie, who’s real name is Felix Kjellberg, became the top-viewed creator of YouTube videos with more than 45 million subscribers. He started out by making funny commentary videos on video games, making his channel very popular. He dropped out of college to focus on his YouTube channel, much to his parents dismay, and even worked at a hot dog stand to fund his channel. He even appeared on South Park, The Late Show with Steven Colbert, and Conan. PewDiePie has earned an estimated $124 million since 2010.
9. Million Dollar Homepage
Haven’t you ever said to yourself “If I could only get 1 million people to give me a dollar each, I would be a millionaire?” Well, that’s exactly what Alex Tew did. The Million Dollar Homepage is an internet phenomenon that’s still talked about regularly, even though it was launched nearly 10 years ago. The whole idea behind this project was thought up by a student from England named Alex Tew. He made a website that consisted 1 million pixels, and sold the space in 10by10 blocks to various companies who wanted to buy ads on it. He would charge a dollar per pixel, which made him a millionaire by January 2006. Ever since the website was created, a large number of copycats immediately started to emerge and are still trying to recreate the impact this website created, but like Alex himself said – this type of thing can only happen once.
8. “Yo” App
Yo was created by Israeli developer Or Arbel in 8 hours, being launched on April Fools Day 2014 for Android and iOS. made him millions. The app itself is super simple, and as Arbel admitted on a interview, the whole concept behind it was “stupid.” Users were able to send the word “Yo” as a text or audio notifications. Then the people who got it back could simply ignore it or “Yo” back. And believe it or not, that was it. No, really. The hype has died down now, but the app was valued at between $5 and $10 million in July 2014 and received a further $1.5 million in funding.
7. Excused Absence Network
Do you need an excuse to miss work? Back in 2007, there was a very popular website called MyExcusedAbsence.com that offered a number of excuse letters – doctor’s notes, jury summons, and more. It didn’t take much for the owner of the website to get started a laptop and $300, but he made a hell of a fortune selling these excuses for $25 a pop. This website became popular really fast after it was launched, and it had a reputation for providing excellent letters that would work all the time. However, the jig was up when people started using the service way too often.
6. The Weight-Loss Millionaire
Dani Johnson was a waitress who grew up on welfare, struggled with domestic violence at home, and was so poor she was homeless at 21. But she started saving every penny she earned and got down to work. She created a series of books where she gave incredible tips on how to lose weight and became a millionaire by 23. She probably heard this before, but “You go, girl!”
5. Pet Rock
The idea of selling a rock is about as ridiculous as it gets. But one man figured out how to sell them and make millions in just a few short months. Dahl, a former advertising executive, sold his rocks for $3.95 on a bed of hay. Each sale earned him a profit of roughly $3. He sold the rocks as “hassle-free” pets, complete with a pet training manual and a card board box fashioned after a pet carrier. The rocks were an instant hit and turned into one of the greatest fads of all time. He made $15M in just the first six months.
4. Duck Calls
Phil Robertson could have played in the NFL and earned big bucks the easy way. But no! He had to find a completely unusual way to get rich. After turning down an offer from the NFL, he began building duck calls by hand. He also got his own reality show. You may have heard of it. It’s this little show called Duck Dynasty? The show and the duck calls added a lot of zeros to his bank account, making him one rich ‘sumbitch.
3. Wacky Wall Walker
Ken Hakuta should give his mom an extra big hug and kiss for giving him his million-dollar idea. She sent him the nation’s first known Wacky Wall Walker as a gift from China. Fascinated by the gewy toy that appears to walk down the walls it’s thrown against, Hakuta bought the rights for $100,000 and began marketing it in the D.C. area. Sales crawled along until a reporter for The Washington Post stumbled upon his product and wrote about it. The buzz from the article began one of the greatest marketing fads of all time. Within just a few months, more than 240 million were sold, netting Ken about $80 million.
Naval engineer Richard James’ flash of brilliance was spawned by clumsiness. He dropped a tension spring he was working with and watched it slink away across the floor. And thus the Slinky was born. That’s the way the Slinky was introduced into the world and how James himself earned $250 million.
A lot of people are still confused how a product as silly as this one actually managed to generate any revenue, let alone millions of dollars. Upon the release of Doggles, it was often called one of the most useless things ever invented, but it still managed to make its way into many homes around the world. The business has received attention and coverage from CNN, Women’s World, People, Regis and Kelly, National Geographic and Animal Planet. A couple in California came up with this idea when they saw that their dog was squinting while playing fetch with a Frisbee. They first made a pair just for their dog Midknight, but were soon amused at how many people approached them, stating that they would like to buy a pair for their dogs too. Even though why anyone would buy this product will always be a mystery to some, the owners simply cite that people really love to see a dog wearing sunglasses.