Major work life transition: What's the Big idea?
January 11, 2010 1:17 PM   Subscribe

Hivemind! I'm planning a major work/life transition and need ideas. Do you know a family member, friend, acquaintance actually running a web-based business with profits in excess of 200K/year?

I am of the belief that the majority of business owners out there making solid numbers do not talk about it. I am looking a venture I can dedicate myself to one that will net over what I make right now annually in profits. And I'm looking to the hivemind to clue me in on what that one opportunity is that I can go after. For anonymity or to give specifics:
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You're looking for the one great idea what will automagically net you over 200K? Don't you think that if we knew that answer we'd all be doing it ourselves?
posted by cgg at 1:28 PM on January 11, 2010 [9 favorites]

Supposedly an aquaintance of mine made himself a millionaire using racially specific amatuer porn. Both as a producer of hidden cams vids and allowing user submitted video while still in school.
posted by Rubbstone at 1:58 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Mod note: A few comments removed. It's totally fine to just not answer the question, folks. You know the drill.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:01 PM on January 11, 2010

I guess anon is asking: What are some current or emerging areas for high-profit web based businesses?

I couldn't hazard a guess at that. I know a few people running home or small businesses that do much marketing and sales via web. I know don't any that make that much profit.
posted by anti social order at 2:07 PM on January 11, 2010

I'm looking to the hivemind to clue me in on what that one opportunity is that I can go after.

Look, all moderately capable people are looking for "that one opportunity" which will set them on the path to riches. That's why entrepreneurship is so hard and so many entrepreneurial ventures fail.

That you are posting this question to Metafilter, asking us to tell you what that opportunity is highlights a whole set of bad assumptions on your part.

Sorry to be blunt but no successful entrepreneur has ever gone up to strangers and said "So, tell me what I should do in order to make money." Rather, they have seen a need in the marketplace and met that need and done it better than their competitors.
posted by dfriedman at 2:11 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Nothing will make 200k right off the bat. Sorry.

I have a friend who I believe makes in excess of that at this point through an online business that was built up over the last 10 years, selling a specific niche product at competitive prices. It has grown to the point that it now has several employees and now has a brick-and-mortar location. I'm not sure at what point it crossed the threshold to making the amount of money that you're looking for. Nor do I know how much my friend actually takes home as pay.
posted by The World Famous at 2:23 PM on January 11, 2010

Yeah, the missing piece of information is how quickly the OP needs to be making this much money, much less what their talents might be. Firewood sales would have a tough time getting there, for instance.
posted by rhizome at 2:37 PM on January 11, 2010

A friend of a friend runs . In Sydney and Melbourne it is a very good place for finding accomadation to share. He set it up years ago and now travels the world and runs things from where ever he is.

I don't know if he makes 200K but he's pretty well sorted.

It is possible. If you come up with a decent idea and do it better than others it can be done, but good luck doing it. Millions have tried. Almost all have failed.
posted by sien at 3:19 PM on January 11, 2010

Asking for ideas is the wrong question. Ideas are cheap. I can think of half a dozen off the top of my head, which could all make lots of money if they were executed perfectly. I mean, if you want an idea, do something like MetaFilter: Be absolutely awesome at serving a particular community in a thoughtful way. Struggle for half a decade with no rewards and lots of abuse. Put up with all kinds of crap while still working your day job. Eventually, after the better part of a decade, see some modest rewards. Keep investing in it, treat your employees and community well and do some smart things with advertising, and just a short decade from now, you too will be making over $200k.

More succinctly: Find something you have an irrational passion for, and be the best on the web at serving the needs of those who share that passion with you. This and good ethics will lead to a great business.
posted by anildash at 3:56 PM on January 11, 2010 [3 favorites]

A guy I know is doing well with an online ticket reselling and price predicting business. Before starting that he did an online furniture rental business for college students.

My advice (as another wannabe; based on reading about people who did it) is to try selling stuff that you yourself like to buy, and start out with ebay or some other way to make contact with buyers immediately. If you can't get buyers within two weeks and $400 spent, try something else.

Why the 200k number? Do you want to be in the 99.99th percentile? Did sites like and turn your head? Do you need to pay off gambling debts before your family finds out?

Also, what do you do right now?
posted by sninctown at 5:50 PM on January 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Gambling. Specifically poker or bingo where you make money from the "rake" as opposed to sports betting or casino style games where you initially need lots of capital.
posted by vapidave at 5:00 AM on January 12, 2010

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