Greetings all, I’ve been away from the community here for a bit working on some fun and strange projects, one of which has now led me back to seek out your collective insight and input.

I’m curious about the strangest business concept(s) you’ve ever encountered - something so weird that you might think it was fictional if you hadn’t actually seen it for yourself.

My only requirement is that it be a legitimate/official business (Inc., LLC, LP, sole proprietorship, etc…) rather than just a product, event, job title or one-time project; and that it must be a profitable/sustainable endeavor. It could be a variation on a theme (like an ice cream hearse), something unbelievably niche (like a digital ad agency that only takes on pet psychics as clients), or something else entirely that just makes you scratch your head and say to yourself, “this simply can’t be real.”

Thank you all, I am very curious to see what you all come up with.

There are a few odd businesses I can think of that don’t tick off every point you mention however (specially the legitimacy, since some of the most interesting commercial enterprises are informal), although out of those that do, I think some for-profit museums can be singled out. Iceland is well known for its niche museums and even AO has a story about this:

I’m not sure how many of these might be full-on profitable businesses, but the Penis Museum does charge entry and has been open a while, for example. So this means there very well could be an entrepreneur who was successful with an idea to market the display and research of mammalian male reproductive organs.

The more museums a place might have, the more likely it is some will be built on niche subjects and making bank on them. Famously museum-heavy Mexico City has museums of “objects” and “time” (I personally can’t think of any museum that DOESN’T deal with the concepts of objects and time in some way). Romania has a Museum of Kitsch. Moscow is apparently the city with most museums in the world, so I bet there’s some definitely left-field themes that people are paying for there.

1 Like

The Scottish islands have a ton of honesty boxes that really take it beyond eggs and cookies, but I think the most unique one is probably Mustheb on the Isle of Harris. Its name is a portmanteau of Hebrides and its signature product: mustard.

It was started by a German migrant to the islands who missed the mustard culture of Dusseldorf so she started a mustard company that later incorporated the honesty box system. Pretty odd but also entrepreneuring: