Startups are ridiculous! – Black Friday special edition


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Some of the best startups seem obvious only in retrospect. By the time we found them, they had already reached a critical mass of users. I’ve scoured the internet and found a great list that explore many of the well known successful startups but in a different light.

I hope this encourages you to think different and be one of the crazy ones!

  • Facebook – The world needs yet another social network a la Myspace or Friendster except several years late. We'll only open it up to a few thousand overworked, anti-social Ivy Leaguers. Everyone else will then follow since Harvard students are so cool.

  • Dropbox – We built a file sharing and syncing solution in a market has a dozen of them built by big companies like Microsoft. It only has one feature, and you have to move all of your content to use it.

  • Amazon – We'll sell books online, even though users are still scared to use credit cards on the web. Their shipping costs will eat up any money they save. They'll do it for the convenience, even though they have to wait a week for the book.

  • Virgin Atlantic – Airlines are fun, so we are starting one. How hard could it be? We'll differentiate with a funny safety video and by not being a**holes.

  • Mint – Give us all of your bank, brokerage, and credit card information. We'll store them on the web and give you the data back but with nicer fonts. To make you feel richer, we'll make it all green.

  • Palantir – We'll build arcane analytics software, put the company in California, hire a bunch of new college grads, many of them immigrants, hire no sales reps, and close giant deals with D.C.-based defense and intelligence agencies.

  • Google – We are building the world's 20th search engine at a time when most of the others have been abandoned as being commoditized money losers. We'll strip out all of the ad-supported news and portal features so you won't be distracted from using the free search stuff.

  • Github – Software engineers will pay monthly fees for the rest of their lives in order to create free software out of other free software!

  • PayPal – People will use their insecure AOL and Yahoo email addresses to pay each other real money, backed by a non-bank with a cute name run by 20-somethings.

  • Paperless Post – We are like Evite, except you pay us. All of your friends will know that you are an idiot the minute your faux-parchment digital envelope hits their inbox.

  • Instagram – Who needs Facebook? We got filters! That's right, filters!

  • LinkedIn – How about a professional social network, aimed at busy 30- and 40-somethings. They will use it once every 5 years when they go job searching.

  • Tesla – Instead of just building batteries and selling them to Detroit, we are going to build our own cars from scratch plus own the distribution network. We'll start the company during a recession and the crashing of the clean tech industry.

  • Firefox – We are going to build a better web browser, even though 90 percent of the world's computers already have a free one built in. It's based on a product that a single college student built.

  • Twitter – iI is like email, SMS, or RSS. Except it only has 140 characters, doesn't support images, can't be made private, and will be used mostly by geeks at first, followed by Britney Spears and Charlie Sheen.

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