’Batshit insane’, ’cray-cray’ and ’bananas’ are all considered negative descriptors for entrepreneurship. The things that usually describe a successful businessman are pretty damn boring, responsible, tried and true, and just don’t cut it in the age of Doge, Grumpy Cat and Gallon smashing (see video here). A little crazy goes a long way, but is your type of crazy the sellable kind?
Karyn Bosnak was a Manhattanite and she lived like one, with a lofty apartment, designer pantsuits (I assume), delicious molecular gastronomy meals, and a six-figure paycheck (that’s what they do, right? I have no idea – I was born in the Midwest where Wrangler jeans, a 2006 Ford pick-up truck, and a monster pork chop is the high life. Oh, and Michelob High Life). Unfortunately, her finances were a little bit more rural fishing village than big city, so she ended up with around $20,000 in credit card debt. She was a very attractive twenty-year-old female in immediate need for money, so what do you think she did? OH MY GOD! NO! NO! NO! SHE DIDN’T DO THAT! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?!!! Seemingly inspired by the government’s propensity to bail out organizations that shouldn’t really need bailing out, she went to the next biggest entity of social regulation – the Internet – and asked complete strangers to help her with her financial misfortunes (that she created herself). As if you need further evidence that the Internet is as crazy, if not crazier than your cat/scarf-wearing Aunt Gladys (yes, Aunt Gladys walks around wearing a live cat as a scarf, and the cat is surprisingly okay with it; probably because Aunt Gladys uses canned tuna fish juice as perfume), her debt was completely paid off. As if in a craze-off with the Internet, Hollywood then bought Karyn’s book rights to make her story a movie, but the movie was buried in the well-populated cemetery of pre-production.
Virtual Real Estate Mogul
Most of the wealthiest individuals in the world invest in real estate. It’s a relatively safe type of investment: you can use it as collateral when getting a loan and an empty lot offers a valuable lifetime supply of dirt. Who needs all that financially sane stuff, though, when you can get a virtual piece of real estate, so your videogame character can live in it? Ailin Graef thought that exact thing when she bought a whole bunch of virtual land directly from the game developer of ‘Second Life’ (a rose by any other name, but in this case the name precisely describes what’s going on here: it’s literally a game where you live a ‘second’ not-necessary-less-sucky version of your real life). Being the entrepreneurial mind she was though, she took that land, subdivided it and sold it to other individuals struggling with their sanity. In just three years, Ailin Graef managed to make over a million U.S. dollars in profit, selling virtual real estate. Her subdivisions are heavily regulated, so you don’ t have to worry about those neighbors that like to sit on a couch on their front lawn, blasting country music and drinking beers all weekend.
Dirt and rocks for sale
You’re looking at me with a raised eyebrow, pointing out that dirt and rocks are big business. Sure soil and rock are used in gardens, construction and even the occasional execution by stoning (not the smoking type, don’t get excited). How about a single rock, though? A rock that you could consider a pet? How would you consider it a pet? Because it says so on the box: ‘Pet Rock’. Back when popular music was still good and people did a lot of drugs, Gary Dahl (probably drug user himself) created the Pet Rock, which is exactly what it claims: a rock which is a pet. This venture into absurd mineral caretaking made him 15 million dollars. How he made the money is up for contention, but was most probably fueled by drugs; like I said, it was the 70s.
Do you have a crazy idea? Well, don’t sit on it (first, it’s uncomfortable, and you’ll probably break it). Try to get it out there. Even if it is a rent-a-chicken service; actually, never mind, that’s already a multimillion dollar business. Back to the drawing board!