A lot of times budding entrepreneurs ask me how a weird business idea was able to become successful. Initially even I used to start thinking how this happens. One day, I realized that defining what weird means may have the answer to this dilemma.
An idea can be weird in the following 2 ways.
Addressing a Weird Need – So in most cases, weird startups are actually ones which are addressing a weird need. The business model used might actually be very standard and successful in other spaces. Users may actually this inherent need which such startups are able to target and fulfill. I feel Snapchat, when it started, would fall under this category.
Delivery of Product/Service – The other case is when the need is a standard one but the delivery of the product or service is innovative or weird. Courier companies offering free travel for users just to send their parcels along was a weird but successful concept.
From my understanding, weird is actually a more crude way of saying innovative. These ‘weird startups’ have actually created a niche which did not exist before and were able to scale extremely well, just like an innovative company would do. And once these scale up, the weirdness of the idea is actually re-addressed as a ‘new normal” :).