You’d think that successful entrepreneurs are geniuses. The truth is, most of them aren’t.
Of course, entrepreneurs with unique skill sets founded the most successful businesses, and there’s a reason for that. According to a new research, entrepreneurs don’t need expensive degrees or high level of IQ to succeed. Rather, they need “practical intelligence,” which is defined as “learning by doing.”
“Entrepreneurs—especially during the early stages of their startups—have to think on their feet,” Bird, one of the co-authors of the study, said. “They have to make the best decisions possible in the least amount of time and usually with few resources. Practical intelligence empowers them to act quickly and confidently.”
Dangote is not a genius. Steve Jobs is crazy. Mark Zuckerberg is a college dropout. All of them are smart, yes, have some practical intelligence in their respective industries, but they’re not super humans. At first, their ideas, all of the aforementioned entrepreneurs, were unusual. But after strong commitment and re-iteration, they turned their ideas into multi-billion dollar companies. Entrepreneurs are weird; they build successful businesses out of their bizarre ideas.
Here are five of the weirdest business ideas that became successful.
- Stawi Foods and Fruits
(Source: Stawi Foods and Fruits)
Eric Muthomi was angry about the shrinking manufacturing industry in Kenya, his home country.
The country has vast areas of land and is rich in agricultural produce, but food items are in short supply. In addition, the government is not tapping into agricultural production to improve the food industry. As a dreamer, the 26-year-old Muthomi, saw a huge potential in banana and thought of producing banana flour.
Thus, his company Stawi Foods and Fruits was born. The company produces banana flour, which was made out of processed green bananas. Stawi Banana Flour is gluten-free and nutritious, and it’s sold to manufacturers who use it to make baby food, porridge, and mashed foods.
The company also distributes to retailers in Kenya and beyond, solving food shortages, putting cash in the hands of banana farmers, providing jobs to many Kenyans, and making Muthomi richer and happier.
“We are working with a group of 100 farmers,” Muthomi says. “The food processing industry is critical in providing a market for farm produce, creating employment opportunities, and curbing rural-urban migration.”
- Urine-Powered Generator
(Source: Collective Evolution)
In Nigeria, four 14-year-old girls developed a urine-powered generator to solve the power problem that has been bedeviling the country for long.
As strange as it may sound, the technology has not only been tested, it has also powered homes and businesses, and the girls have changed lives. The girls – Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, Faleke Oluwatoyin, and Bello Eniola – endeavor to make it affordable for the common Nigerian to power their generator with the raw material that is within their reach.
The technology works in five simple steps:
- Urine is put into an electrolyte
- The electrolyte sieves the hydrogen from the urine and pushes it into a gas cylinder
- The gas cylinder pushes the hydrogen into a cylinder of liquid borax, which is used to remove the moisture from the hydrogen
- This purified hydrogen gas is then pushed into the generator
- The generator powers homes and shops.
The technology, though in its infancy, has generated a buzz not only in Nigeria but in the entire African continent as well. In fact, the founders are in contact with investors, discussing how they can scale their startup.
- Potato Parcel
(Source: Potato Parcel)
This startup is changing the way we deliver messages to our loved ones.
If you want to send a message to your wife or pal, for instance, you’d write them a letter (if you want to use an old, but cute medium), mail them a greeting card, or send them a text message with your Smartphone.
You wouldn’t think of using a potato to send them a message. Not even close.
But that’s what Potato Parcel does: Helps you send a message with a potato. For example, when you want to send a love message to your partner, you can write, “I love you” on a potato template on the company’s website and order for it to be shipped to your partner.
The service is unique and fresh, and it’s affordable. The delivery starts at $9.99. And orders above $30 gets you free delivery service.
- Cuddle Party
(Source: Cuddle Party)
Nurturing is a good, healthy gesture.
A simple hug is healthy for your blood flow, human spirit, and overall happiness, according to many researches. Dr. Renee Horowitz, a renowned psychologist from Madison, U.S.A. further explains that cuddling releases “chemicals, like oxytocin, in the brain that create a sense of well-being and happiness.”
However, not all of us have partners to hold us, give us the tender, sexy touch that turns on our spirit. So, what if there’s a company that solves this emotional needs? Cuddle Party meets that need. No kidding.
The company prides itself as “the movement to reclaim cuddling [as one of the essential human needs] in our lives.” If you have no one to hug you, simply sign up with Cuddle Party; the company then connects you with a partner that will warm you up.
Another great business idea that is making big money is SomethingStore, a startup company that sells “something” a buyer has no clue.
For example, you can order something you have no idea of. You’ll only see what you’ve ordered after the item has been delivered to you. So, when you order that ‘something’, you might end up seeing a Smartphone case, homemade earrings, or a pair of shoes in the parcel.
Every ‘something’ product cost $10. The business model was built in an unusual way, based on the human love for surprises. The company founders, while still in a startup mode, are making money, while making their customers’ mouth wide open out of wired, unusual surprises.
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