5 successful startups that were initially side projects 3.0


Side projects

Loads of global companies were initially meant to be mere experiments. Despite those ideas seemed unreal, they came true and succeeded. Let us share with you the 3-d part of the companies that used to be non-core projects. If you haven’t read the first or the second part, check them out! 


If you are looking for something for house repair or decor, you are likely to stumble onto Houzz listing. The community serves 40 million users per month and employs 1000 members all over the world. However, they began as a more modest project. One day, while Adi Tatarko and Alon Cohen were doing repairs, they faced the shortage of recourses for home improvement. This induced them to make up their own. Today the company is worth $4 billion. 

Khan Academy 

The founder of the project is Sal Khan. While teaching his relatives, he received a suggestion: the students wanted to have online classes instead of traditional ones. Though Khan didn’t ignore the idea and it strongly got into his head. That’s why he started to make 10-minute videos on YouTube about different subjects like biology or arts. In the meantime, he worked as an analyst for hedge funds. When YouTube activity began to take shape, he quitted his job. 


Initially, the social video platform for gamers was named Justin. tv after the founder — Justin Kan. It was meant to monitor Justin’ life 14 hours a day. However, as soon as the service allowed everyone to broadcast, a miracle happened. Many categories like gaming appeared, which people really appreciated. Later, Amazon bought Twitch for $1 billion. 


Today this is a popular corporative messenger. However, it started far from business. Stewart Butterfield, the founder, was obsessed with an idea to create a game for 10 years. Though, he had to switch onto Flickr — his side project that had gained popularity. When it was clear that the game wouldn’t work out, Stewart started developing a small tool for business communication. In the future, it became the most rapidly growing startup: the value reached $1 billion in a year.


Writing about your idea is the easiest way to test it. That’s what Dharmesh Shah did. He created a small blog and started to gain momentum. Shah asserts that a small blog without a budget has generated more traffic than big companies with professional marketers. Today HubSpot is put up for sale and costs $2 billion.

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