It is not easy for most entrepreneurs and businessmen to talk about their own failures. When they do, they tend to be indulgent or lenient about their past experiences and are inclined to shift some of the “blame” on environment, tendencies, people or just plain luck (lack of it). Only few speak candidly and admit their errors openly with intention of contributing to the accumulated business wisdom and in hope of providing useful information for those aspiring and resourceful entrepreneurs who are at the beginning of their paths. The first step to overcome a failure starts by admitting that we are not perfect.
Jeremy Schoemaker, the founder of ShoeMoney Media Group, is one of the entrepreneurs who had many ideas, which could potentially lead to business successes but instead turned out to be business failures.
Anyway I came up (in about 10 minutes) my top 10 worst ideas to make money that totally were a waste of time and effort (and money in some cases).
Below are some of his top 10 worst money making ideas he came up with.
10 – FireFox Forum (firefoxforum.com) – I purchased this site on digitalpoint ($800) after getting some inside information that FireFox was going to team up with Google on a per download affiliate program. Well all that happened and I think I made about 50$ the first year. FLOP
7 – Omaha-Used-Cars.com – Now here we go! This is easy. Just make a used car site and charge dealers a .25cent per car listing fee right ? ehhh none interested… FLOP
6 – SMS Text Dating textdating.com/texting.com – I was soooooooo sure this one was going to be it! The concept is simple basically you subscribe to this dating website. Make a profile then you could send a message to the person from the website to there mobile phone without having to know there phone number. I had this totally done and nobody every signed up… FLOP
5 – St. Marry’s Bar & Grill – Ok this has nothing to do with the internet. After the Hooters closed down in Lincoln I tried to re-open it then when that did not work out I thought about making a restaurant called St. Marrys where it was like a church and the waitresses dressed like catholic school girls and like the nuns would be the managers and spank the waitresses if they were bad?!? Yes I know bad idea and I never really pursued it…. I like in one of the most conservative catholic communities in the country so no way it would fly… and yes i know im going straight to hell.
3 – Ads Or Not
Simple concept. There is 5 ads on a webpage only one of them is NOT REALLY A AD! Each time you successfully spot the fake ad you get some money built up into your account. – I had issues finding advertisers who were down for this =P FLOP
1 – ShoeMoney Petroleum Company –
(I cant believe im actually telling these in public)
Ok Follow me here –
I want to purchase a Gas Station and Give away Free Gas
The catch is like the gas would come out really slow and also you would be limited as to how much you could get per week. (Like max 50 gallons a week).
How do I make money ? EASY – I would setup paintball guns around the gas station with webcams that would let people from the internet take shots at the people filling up there cars with gas. You could charge per shot or a xxxx amounts of shots per month for a set fee. PROBLEM – I talked to a city council member about this and he told me there was a “no flying ordinance” or something rule within city limits however I could maybe do it in the country…
As you see the breadth and width of ideas is not lacking in originality and ambition. Some of the ideas above would surely seem killer to me and many other entrepreneurs. However, not all, even brilliant and innovative, ideas become equally successful and growing businesses. In face of the ongoing financial crisis and shrinking funds, quite a few investors and VCs go as far as clearly outline what an idea needs to have to obtain a backing. For those who cannot reach VC/investor pockets or are simply willing to build their business without initial VC/investor funding, there is also a way. Whichever way you choose, make sure to check out the startup rules of Loic Le Meur, the founder of Seesmic, and those of Sequoia Capital, a leading VC firm, and do not be afraid to fail. Embrace your failure, learn from it, and remember the words of one of the most profound thinkers of 19th century, Friedrich Nietzsche, who mused, “What does not kill you makes you stronger.”