Everyday, people think of new and unusual money making ideas. These range from the simplest (why didn't I think of that?) to the very technical or science based ideas and everything in-between. Some of these ideas are making their creators millions every year, while others make more modest incomes.
Here I have listed some of the ideas that have impacted on most of our lives, and also a few lesser known innovations that are making money as I write:
Ball point pen: invented in 1938 by Laszlo Biro, this clever invention made writing cleaner, easier and affordable for everyone and has been responsible for, and continues to make, many fortunes.
Post-it-note: invented by accident in 1968 by Dr Spencer Silver, this simple but effective idea wasn't an overnight success story and finally took off in the early 1980s. Today, they can be found everywhere, from the smallest shop to the largest store. These sticky pieces of paper are making millions every year.
Lucky break wishbones: can you believe that people will actually pay money for a plastic wish bone? Well they do and in their thousands. At the time of writing, the lucky inventor sells these for under $5 for a pack of five and they make large sums of money.
Microwave oven: invented by Dr Percy Spencer after WW2, but it wasn't until the mid 60s that they were small enough for the lucrative domestic market. Today, a microwave oven can be found in almost every western home, making large electronic companies huge profits.
Plenty of Fish: founded by Marcus Frind around 2004, this free dating site is making an absolute fortune from advertising. Although there are hundreds of online dating sites, this one offers a truly free service to subscribers and I believe that's why it is so successful. This is truly one of those 'why didn't I think of that?' moments!
Another idea that seems to be a money making machine, is a site created by a grandmother from the UK. Jacquie Lawson created a site that sells greetings cards and makes many thousands of £ every month from monthly visitors reported to be in the millions. When I last checked the Alexa traffic rank for her site, it was 8334 and in the top 1% of all sites on the internet.
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With the explosion of smart phone sales, more people are building and giving away free android phone apps. Almost anybody can do this using cheap and sometimes free software. You can make money by placing advertising in the app or links to other (paid for) products. I believe that more people make money this way than trying to sell their app so maybe this could be a lesson for other areas of business or money making – give it away and make money?
So how do these examples help you with your own unusual money making ideas, or any other cash generating projects? Well, if the people above can do it, then you can too. You may not have the technical ability to invent electrical equipment or similar, but anybody could think of a quirky idea that solves a problem, answers a want or need. All it takes is some research, a bit of time and lots of determination, you can make money and you know it.
Sometimes we have to go against the crowd to find what we are looking for. There is an old saying ''necessity is the mother of all invention.'' So I think it's fair to say that finding your own unusual money making ideas could be your path to wealth.