Offbeat

11 Crazy Business Ideas. Will They Work?

by . January 8th, 2015

A somewhat hidden gem from Reddit is /r/stupidbiz where Redditors post business ideas that are “impractical, insane, or just plain stupid.” Some of these ideas are actually stupid enough to work. If this subreddit was more regularly updated, I’d definitely watch this like a hawk, just as I do with /r/fifthworldproblems.

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Let’s check out 11 of these ideas and think if they could work. If some dumb idea pops into your head along the way, feel free to scroll down and comment below. If I don’t mention who thought of the idea, it’s by One_Giant_Nostril, who moderates the subreddit and is responsible for around 80% of the posts.


1. The Firefighter – A urinal with tiny flames in it to put out

JPBimmer writes “Boredom during the usual micturition is finally a thing of the past. With the all-new Firefighter, tiny flames inside the bowl of the urinal stay lit until patrons extinguish them. Upon flushing, the bowl will relight itself for the next gentleman. As an added bonus, the ambient light from the urinal can act as a mood light for any dimly lit restrooms.”

He even has a picture of it in his blog!

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As it would make male stand-up urinals somewhat more exciting, it would cost a lot in fuel to have it up and running. It’d also be a fire hazard, especially in places where people drink lots of alcohol.

This is a no.


2. A website that shows you the first 10-12 minutes of (almost) any movie in the world.

One_Giant_Nostril writes “Most people make up their mind to continue watching or not within that time-frame. If the producers know what they’re doing, any spoilers revealed within the first 10-12 minutes are not the “real” spoilers.”

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I personally think that this is a great idea. These days, great movies have their hook within the first few minutes, and nothing huge really gets spoiled until the half mark. Any “spoilers” within the first few minutes are revealed to be important only at the end.

This is definitely a yes.


3. A clothing-rental store that rents those horrible 70s-type wedding suits and bridesmaid gowns.

“All pastel, wide lapels, platform shoes, etc.” – One_Giant_Nostril

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As commenter sadkowju notes, “This would be best in an online model w/ mail delivery. A brick and mortar would never be able to sustain operating costs.”

It’s a very niche idea. But I’ve seen ideas this niche or seemingly stupid work amazingly. However, the ones that work are all online and have worked their butts off to make things as efficient as possible both money-wise and work-wise.

This is a yes.


4. Instead of an alarm clock… a blanket that vibrates

This idea could be used for deaf people or rooms that need to stay quiet like shared rooms with varying schedules. However, it’s going to have a steep competition against smaller, portable items such as vibrating alarm clocks and bed shakers.

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This is plausible.


5. An Acapella group that only does death-metal covers called “The Butchershop Quartet”

This idea was submitted by xodiach and I personally love it. I love the punny title and I love new genres of music that sprout out. Especially ones you don’t expect.

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Commenter Julius_Bonney reminds us of an old Reddit gem, Van Canto, which has a similar idea, but a way too different approach. With the addition of drums and riddly diddly and the lack of barbershop-quartet-ness, It only gives us a vague look on what the Butchershop Quartet could be.

This is plausible, and I’m willing to support this idea through and through.


6. Twitter for audio

Or rather an audio Vine. I can see this happen, but just like Vine, people who will stay with it for the long run will be a very niche crowd. At first, people will treat it like Vine, but will soon realise that the lack of video makes it a completely different product.

Hospital sisters picnic beside the Katherine River, Northern Territory / Arthur Groom

People already send each other short audio clips through private chat systems like Voxer, Zello, and Telegram. So why not make your favorite funny ones public?

This to me is a yes.


7. Toilet paper gloves for deep cleaning

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Do I really have to answer this?


8. Slippers that look like professional dress shoes

I personally hate stuff like this. But some people seem to like it. Between this and the suit onesie, you’ll be the cheesiest person at the office. However, between being a conversation piece during the first day and being the token eccentric guy the 100th is a long period of time where you just look plain annoying.

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I don’t think this is going to work. By a long shot. However if they make like awesome dress shoes with Crocs padding, I might have to reconsider.

This is plausible.


9. Slow-cooker food cart

One_Giant_Nostril writes “”Your sign says you have beef stew. Can I get a bowl of that?”
“Sure. It’ll be ready in… oh, say four hours. Can you come back then?”

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I hope by now you know why this will not work. I love slow-cooked meals like any other guy, but a cart is meant for convenience and speed. Slow-cooking companies work best with scheduled delivery because they can prepare on time, but with a cart, you can only prepare one type of meal at a time, each of which will take hours.

Idea: You ever heard of Please Don’t Tell? That awesome bar hidden behind a deli through a telephone box in NYC? What if it’s like that? A permanently installed cart with a hidden underground kitchen. The batcave of kitchens. I think that would be cool. More expensive by a mile, but tons more plausible.

However with the given idea, this is a no.


10. A t-shirt company that specializes in printing waveforms of your favorite songs

I love this idea. I’m sure somebody already thought of it. There’s something already that’s quite similar.

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However, does copyrighted audio mean copyrighted waveforms? This is confusing. Any audio guys or lawyers out there to give me an answer on this? Please comment below.

If waveforms are free for all though, this is a definite yes. I’d buy multiple.


11. A farm that allows customers to slaughter their own meat. (A hard life lesson)

I had this awful giggle-snort when I read this.

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It’s quite obvious why this topic got more than the usual comments. Commenter FearlessBuffallo (oh the irony) reminds us of this location in the Simpsons where they do exactly that. ImmortalWarBear claims he’s been doing this for years. DarkGamer says that this should be mandatory for meat-eating.

I think this would work if you could get past all the legal issues. I’d honestly be interested in this. I know some of you would be as well. Despite the gore, you’ll actually know more about the meat you’re eating and possibly choose the healthier looking cows that won’t give you health problems the next day.

This is a yes.


And that’s it. /r/StupidBiz is filled with amazing ideas once you dig through. I personally think it’s worth a visit if not a subscribe. Sadly though, it’s not very active. The last hot post was written 4 months ago and it only has 270 subscribers. I really hope to see this subreddit get more active because it puts much needed creativity and craziness into entrepreneurship.


Do you have your own so-crazy-it-might-work business idea? Do you have anything to add? Which business idea was your favorite? Comment below!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

I do grown-up things to pay for my childish whimsy and rule the universe one step at a time while at it. Join me for the most fantastical, out-of-this-world adventure your trudgy 24/7 startup will never have.

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