Perspective: Five Startups that Seemed like Bad Business

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Before opening a startup, it is common for the entrepreneur to ask himself: is it a good business or am I just going to waste time and money by investing in it? Many times, a good idea is not carried out because of this type of distrust. But it is only a matter of perspective, the point of view can make the difference and a plan that seemed bad can actually satisfy a niche market that nobody knew existed or that nobody had thought about.

In an article written on the Quora website, Michael Wolfe, founder of four startups and a specialist in the creation of these companies, explains that when analyzing a successful company, it is necessary to understand the context of its foundation. This is because, when the idea has already been executed and is underway, no one is going to question its viability. This type of doubt only arises before founding the company.

To demonstrate how the success of a business depends on perspective, here is a list of five startups that seemed like terrible ideas, but won over the public and achieved significant space in the market.


The Buzzfeed media website, founded in 2006, is committed to a list system and clickbait to win over readers. Many people believed that the method would not be successful, but the numbers proved otherwise. According to the QuantCast, there were more than 450 million visits to the web in May of last year. According to Alexa, based on data from June this year, Buzzfeed is the 113th most viewed website in the world and the 37th in the United States.


Founded by Elon Musk, Paypal encountered obstacles in the market, as people did not believe in the security of online payment systems or electronic collection. It didn’t take long for the tool to overcome mistrust and become one of the most widely used online payment methods in every country in the world. Even online casinos like GambleUSA are starting to adopt the PayPal payment method. Read more on this page.


The controversial startup was founded with the aim of allowing the shipment of cars and making journeys for certain values. Without being legal and without collecting taxes for governments, the tool met resistance. In addition, opting for this service is more expensive than the value of conventional taxis. But here, again, everything is a matter of perspective: the ease of access and exclusivity in the Uber service won over the public in many countries.


The most recognized application for sharing photos in the world today, was also viewed with reservation, since Facebook itself already had the possibility of exchanging images with circles of friendship. However, the speed and versatility of Instagram, combined with simple editing resources, such as filters, made it a huge success all over the world.


Like Instagram, it is another application for sharing photos that was initially viewed with suspicion due to the excess of tools for this same purpose. But the main feature of the application was precisely what made it different: with it, it is possible to share photos and videos only with certain users, and for a inimum exposure time: a few seconds.

With these examples, perhaps you dare to take the inevitable risks of the business world and develop your own business. If, on the one hand, some of these ideas caused doubts and a number of skeptics arose, on the other, these same initiatives ended up conquering the public precisely because of their innovation. Remember: many times a good business depends on the perspective on which it is evaluated.