As we proved in our first installment, there is no problem too niche or too weird to be solved by the right business. For entrepreneurs who are creative enough, finding the right intersection of useful, fascinating, and hilarious—paired with just the right marketing tactic—can spell big bucks as a business plan.
The list seems practically never-ending, with new crazy businesses popping up every day- but which outlandish ideas will actually succeed? Out of many options, here are five more of our favorite crazy business ideas that actually worked.
We had no idea that getting one’s hair cut was such a time consuming chore. But apparently inventor Rick Hunts thinks so. That’s why he created a solution to save you both time and money—with a vacuum cleaner designed to cut your hair.
Yes, you read that correctly. This vacuum cuts your hair.
And according to our favorite retro Flowbee commercial, the product doesn’t only offer a one length option. You can create any of the many haircuts that “kids these days” are wearing, using the flowbee system.
You’re laughing now, but from the product’s invention in 1986 to 2002, Hunts sold over 2 million Flowbees. He’s even successfully remarketed the product for long haired dogs.
Founder Jill Doyle invented Doggles because she cares about your pooch’s eye health. These goggles, specially designed to comfortably fit your furry friend, are made to protect against harmful UV damage, wind, and debris. The high demand for Doggles—to the tune of $5,000,000 per year in sales—just goes to show that there really is nothing we won’t do for our pets.
I guess it was only a matter of time before the whoopee cushion went high tech. Luckily for founder Joel Comm, iFart was the first to harness the excitement of overgrown 4th grade boys everywhere with this multi-farting iPhone app. Now in its third version, the app is quickly picking up steam in pop culture—it was featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and even recently mentioned on an episode of CBS’ The Big Bang Theory. With over 116,000 downloads in the first week alone, Comm is surely on track to quickly become the world’s gassiest million dollar business owner.
4) Hangover Helpers
Anyone who’s ever awoken after a night of too many cocktails understands the sentiment of “just needing some help.” Well, if you’re local to the Boulder, Colorado area—you’re in luck. University of Colorado graduate Marc Simons and his high school buddy Alex Vere-Nicoll are just a phone call away—armed with gatorade, breakfast burritos, and supplies to rescue your humble abode from the aftershocks of a hard party. And all for only $25 per roommate.
Featured on CBS News, the Huffington post, USA Today and elsewhere—we’re just waiting for Simons and Vere-Nicoll’s crazy business idea to make the sweep across every college town in the nation.
If you’re a cat owner and haven’t seen the commercials for this “As Seen on TV” hit, stop everything and go watch. It’s a system to train your cat to use your toilet! The CitiKitty might be our very top pick for our all-time favorite crazy business idea that actually worked. It’s novel, it’s hilarious, it solves a problem—and according to tons of cat owners, it really does work!
As founder Rebecca Rescate said on Season 2 of Shark Tank, if you don’t have cats, you just won’t understand. But cat owners everywhere know—kitty litter is gross. And messy. And apparently many of them will do a lot to avoid it. So much so that the CitiKitty saw over $1,000,000 in revenue in 2013 alone. Now who’s laughing all the way to the…bathroom?
There you have it. Our next five favorite ridiculous (and ridiculously successful) business ideas. What are some of your favorite successful, crazy business ideas? Share in the comments!