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April 17, 2009

a little unorthodox, a little unexpected, a lot innovative

The latest issue of Inc magazine pays tribute to its 30 year anniversary with a few lists of 30 items.

One “
Don’t You Wish You Thought of That?: America’s Weirdest Businesses” is particularly amusing and, as it promises, it profiles business ideas that seem at the outset outright bizarre.

The list ranges from drive-thru strip joints to prosthetic testicles for neutered dogs to narcotic-detection dogs for sniffing out teens’ rooms to
Sarah’s Smash Shack (a business we have written about before) which offers catharsis through china & glass destruction in a safe environment.

(This list actually came in handy during my stint at jury duty this week by keeping several of us entertained during one of our deliberation breaks – Thanks Inc.!).

Reading through this made me laugh imagining how all these business ideas were concocted. Did each one start as only a half-serious idea in the founder’s mind? I also wondered how many discouraging remarks each founder had to endure throughout their start up process. And what are their 15 second pitches like? What are the founder’s professional backgrounds like? And isn’t it funny that even if the business itself is outrageous that the founders still need to worry about mundane business tasks like accounting and customer communications and inventory? At the end of my musing, I realized that no matter how unorthodox and unexpected, I probably still have a lot in common with these business owners, or at least we’d have a lot to talk about (perhaps unlike my fellow jury members).

Another list that I love, of course, is the
Business Owners Book Shelf. I was excited to realize that I own or have read many of these books (obviously these are not always synonymous!)...including of course my favorite Small Giants . Perhaps this is good fodder for our entrepreneur book club? We will have to see!

posted by Adelaide

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