Potato Parcel has got to be the most ridiculous business idea since the Pet Rock. It’s so silly that when entrepreneur Alex Craig told his girlfriend about the idea, she laughed right in his face. But Craig went right ahead with his plan, and now he’s the one laughing all the way to the bank.
The business model is rather simple – anonymous messages sent via potatoes. Users go online to order a potato, add a custom message and send it to whomever they like, anonymously. 24-year-old Craig said that he came up with the idea for the service while having dinner with his girlfriend earlier this year. “She said, ‘You will not sell a single potato. This is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.’”
Yet, to everyone’s surprise, Craig’s idea caught on. “On our second day that we were live, and we started promoting it on Reddit, and we got $2,000 in orders, I just knew this was it,” he said. He’s sold over 2,000 potatoes so far and he’s been making a neat profit of $10,000 per month since May.
Photo: Potato Parcel
“We’ve sent thousands of potatoes to people across the United States, and so, in some sort of weird way, we’ve had an impact on somebody’s life – even for a split second,” Craig said. And as a successful businessman, he has some solid advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “I would say the two things that hold everyone back in life is fear and doubt. The fear of failure and the fear of wasting your time, and the doubt that you can actually achieve something big on a huge scale.”
Medium-size potatoes are priced at $8 and fit 100 characters, while large ones are $10 and fit up to 140 characters. They can be shipped anywhere in the US. Recipients of the quirky potatoes have been putting up photographs on Twitter. Some are rather straightforward, like this message from a son to his father: “Happy Father’s Day! Love Ant.”
Others are funnier – like this Potato Parcel a guy sent to his sister after her promotion: “Kelly congrats on the big potato! We are so potato of you.” And a few messages are downright nasty, like: “Suck it, Nerd.”
Alex writes the messages on the potatoes himself, using a simple black marker. Cheap, fun and profitable, this has to be the ideal business model.