Business Inspiration: Side Projects That Became Million Dollar Businesses

Side hustles have never been more popular. Whether it’s for a personal challenge or you want it to be a legitimate source of income, keeping your job and going on an entrepreneurial journey is a great idea. Nowadays, you can run a personal business from just about anywhere. Even once you start expanding and hiring people to help you out, you can have them operating from all across the world. If you’re still not convinced, a little bit of inspiration may be exactly what you need. With that said, let’s take a look at five side projects that became million dollar businesses.

 

From a side project to the biggest live streaming service company

If you’ve been online in the past few years, you had to hear about Twitch. Live streaming has never been more popular but it wasn’t always like this with this site. The founder, Justin Kan, started working on his side project called justin.tv all the way back in 2005. Basically, what he did was design a platform that allows him to live stream his life 24/7. The site gained a lot of popularity and it didn’t take long for Kan to change things up and give other users a chance to do the same. Eventually, the site birthed Twitch, which has since become the biggest live streaming service company around. Although it initially focused solely on gaming, live streaming free chat and cooking has become a thing in the past few years. Not so long ago, Twitch was sold to Amazon in a mind-blowing $970 million deal.

 

A side project that evolved into Slack

Not so long ago, Stewart Butterfield was famous for creating Flickr which was eventually sold to Yahoo. Once he stopped working on Flickr, Butterfield wanted to fulfill his dream of designing an MMORPG game. He and his team started working on that project when they realized they need a better collaboration tool if they want their project to be a success. They started working on a side project that eventually grew to become Slack. It didn’t take long for everyone to realize just how good Slack is and the company became the fastest-growing startup in history. After just eight months, Slack reached a valuation of $1 billion. More and more companies are turning to Slack as a means for taking collaboration to the next level, so expect this number to continue to increase.

 

A company born out of a house renovation project

Some business owners spend years developing their business ideas, others, however, get their ideas out of nowhere. That’s exactly what happened to Adi Tatrko and Alon Cohen. The pair were renovating their home when they realized the resources available online are nowhere enough. Anything they couldn’t find online and they included in their own website that is known as Houzz. Of course, attracting users to a brand new site wasn’t easy. They turned to local architects and other parents at their kid’s school. Soon enough, the site started growing and now, it has about 40 million monthly users. Whether you’re looking for house renovation ideas or you want to buy furniture, Houzz is the place to be.

 

Building a startup while working as a casino bartender

Right now, the world of iGaming is extremely popular and the number of players continues to increase. The iGaming sector continues to grow and portals such as AskGamblers have never been more influential. But did you know that AskGamblers was developed by a casino bartender? Igor Salindrija was bartending at a local casino when he realized the web could use a site that provides current and accurate information about online casinos. He started working on his side project and it certainly paid off. Just 14 years later, he sold the portal to Maltese Catena Media for €15 million. With over 7.5 million page views every month, the site remains the best place for iGaming enthusiasts to find every piece of information they need.

 

A company that started as an email list

Craigslist is one of the best places on the internet right now. Whether you’re looking for a job, housing or an item, this site is the place to be. What you may not know is that Craigslist is one of the companies that had a humble beginning. In fact, it started as nothing but an email list. The founder, Craig Newmark arrived in San Francisco in the 90s and started thinking of ways to make a name for himself. He ended up creating a list of events he could attend and meet people who could help jumpstart his career. It didn’t take long for him to realize how powerful the list is and he turned it into an email list he can share with other people. The list eventually turned into a website that is now worth about $3 billion.

 

Over to you

These are just some of the companies that started as side projects but have turned into million dollar businesses. All it takes is a good business idea and a lot of time and effort. So, if you think your side project is worth it, don’t let anything stop you from working on it.

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