I just finished reading “Founders at Work“, a highly recommended book comprised of interviews with many successful entrepreneurs who founded companies such as Paypal, Hotmail, etc. It is written in a similar style as Market Wizards, and the book is easy to pick up and flip through the short chapters instead of having to read it cover to cover (although you may have a hard time putting it down like I did). I never tire of hearing about all the amazing ideas that people come up with.
Back in the early Internet days a few of my buddies from high school started a website called Freecondoms.com (seriously). All the web surfer had to do to receive the free merchandise was to sign up for a few offers (such as a Blockbuster Online trial), and then get a few friends to sign up for similar offers. The company would get paid for each sponsor offer completed, and experienced a decent amount of success.
The watershed moment, however, was the introduction of the Ipod. The partners set up freeipods.com, and revenues skyrocketed. Check out this Wired article from a few years back on the company. The company, Gratis Internet, is now involved in all areas of the incentive marketing industry and the founders are millionaires.
Whenever I am bored, one of my favorite blogs to pass the time is Unusual Business Ideas That Work. The author posts a business profile most every day of a successful business. Today’s post is titled, “How to Make Money Selling Tumbleweed Online”, and profiles a crafty entrepreneur that sells $40,000 worth of (free) tumbleweed worldwide. Unreal. A couple of recent interesting posts:
How To Get Real New York Pizza In Any US Town
How To Make Money With Medical ID Jewelry
10 Wacked Out But Wildly Successful Homebusiness Ideas
While not businesses per se, Million Dollar Homepage and One Red Paper Clip were two websites that reveal the power of the viral nature of the Internet.
If you have any other great blogs to check out, or any good Summer reading, leave a comment. . .