How stupid ideas can change the world and make you rich

  When you talk with someone usually the conversation will turn to some billionaire or founder of a technology company that has become insanely rich due to the creation of a product that has changed the world. Such familiar names are Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Kevin Sistrom and etc. Nowadays there will always […]

by Stefaniya Talambazova

September 23, 2014

5 min read

rich - How stupid ideas can change the world and make you rich

 

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When you talk with someone usually the conversation will turn to some billionaire or founder of a technology company that has become insanely rich due to the creation of a product that has changed the world.

Such familiar names are Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Larry Page, Kevin Sistrom and etc.

Nowadays there will always be someone to saying “I want to build a company in this way and all I need is really good idea” but that is not true according to the observations of some prominent venture capitalists in the Silicon Valley. In fact their opinion is that you need an idea that sounds really BAD even TERRIBLE.

„You are thinking that having a good idea is better but that’s where you’re wrong. Large companies are already working on good ideas and they have a lot more resources and employees.”

Such an example may be a Smartphone with a significantly better battery. This seems like a great idea but Apple and Samsung are already working on it.

Often, BAD ideas lead to BIG ideas. You never know when a so-called “bad idea” will contain something extraordinary within. There are plenty of examples from our daily life. An idea that sounds like a bad one is transformed into a brilliant example of innovative thinking.

According to the theory of representative of the company Andreessen Horowitz (venture capital firm that invests in startup businesses) best startup companies started as good ideas that looked as bad in the beginning.

“Important thing is that the best way to come up with a good idea that looks like a bad one is not to follow industry trends!”


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It is possible to create a good startup with a good idea but great startups are often the result of concepts that would have seemed ridiculous if you had heard them prior to seeing them working.

This is true almost by definition – if they had been so obvious, someone would have done them already.

„Entrepreneurs and startup investors are in the business of leftovers as they should pursue the good ideas that for some reason others won’t.”

A classic example of this is Google. When Google was founded major companies such as Yahoo have thought that Web search will lead to more losses than to gains. They believed that Web search is a service that sends users unnecessarily away from their site.

Even the most well-known venture capitalists have startups they regret passing on. For Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures, it was Airbnb, the home-rental website that’s now worth an estimated $2.5 billion.

At first this idea looked ridiculous, because everyone thought that couch-surfing is a weird thing that only hipsters do but actually it was a brilliant idea.

Another example is the telegraph company Western Union. They had intended to purchase telephone technology but decided not to do it because they felt that the phones weren’t as good for business as telegraphs.

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“Good ideas look like bad ideas because they are carried out as a hobby of people who work on them rather than large companies with large Research and Division Department.”

That is how Apple started – by establishing the Homebrew PC club.

“Good ideas may seem as bad ones if they go against social norms.”

An example is the upload of photos to a sharing site. Early in default, this photo could be seen online only by you. However, Flickr defaults this picture to public and this idea has reaped great success.

Facebook can also be an example, likewise. People who use it can be informed by the News Feed which they see as a fixed tool.

“Another reason people perceive a good startup idea as bad one is that the startups offers a single service that is usually provided as part of a package of services from some existing large company.”

How to get rich the smart way? Looking for Internet business ideas? Read what some creative people did:

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Facebook  – Despite the existence of Myspace or Friendster, the creators of Facebook have provided a different approach for social networks by introducing lots of improvements in usability and functionality and thus Facebook became the most popular network.
Dropbox – This website is created like a file sharing solution even though the market had already a dozen of similar systems, supported by big companies like Microsoft but despite that, Dropbox is one of the most popular file sharing storage.
Amazon  – This website is created in the times when users were still scared to use credit cards on the web. Although it`s convenient, the users have to wait a week for a book, but this is not an impediment and the website has achieved a great success.
iOS  – This operating system developed by Apple is intended to run on their devices and the applications that run on  it usually are incompatible with other operating systems like Windows, Linux or Mac OS. Although everything said this operating system has reached millions of users.
Google  – Even many search engines were developed at that time and they were all many losers and many of them were abandoned, the creators of Google have built up their website with simplified look and feel so that they let their users to focus on the search stuff rather than ads or any portal features, which led them to a huge success.
PayPal  – Initially it was considered as a terrible idea, since it was not backed by any bank and it used the insecure AOL and Yahoo email addresses, but it gained world-wide success due to the ease that it gave to online payments.
Instagram  – Although the market had already had photo-sharing platforms like Facebook and was initially considered as a bad idea, Instagram gained success with dropping and the useless Facebook features and the simplified way to share photos.
LinkedIn  – In the times when social networks ruled the world, building a social network for professionals that change their job once in five years, was considered as a bad idea. But by the introducing lots of features that were specifically related to professional means, LinkedIn gained a lot of success.
Firefox  – When Firefox was initially created, 90% of the computers in the world had a free, built-in web browser. This made Firefox seem like a terrible idea. But when Internet Explorer failed to meet all of the features of the modern web development, Firefox was considered as a better choice.
Twitter  – Although the market had already had social platforms like Facebook and was initially thought of a bad idea, Twitter reached huge success by simplifying the way to share a thought, while Facebook was more difficult for this single purpose.

Can you give more examples ?

Quality Assurance at Dreamix