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Motivation: Most Successful Startups that Started as Side Hustle

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by Startacus Admin

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You often hear that starting your own business is really not that difficult. And while that is true, the necessary motivation and involvement is usually quite downplayed. That said, some of the most successful companies of today had very different beginnings. Here, we’ll be talking about some of the most successful startups that started off as simple side hustles.

startup photoHowever, it’s also worth mentioning that all of them were born out of need. The fact that there wasn’t something like them already on the market really helped them grow. And, as you know, some of the best business ideas are the ones that fill the void. So, let’s look at some of them and get inspired by their success stories.


Although difficult to believe,Twitter was once just a simple side project. It was originally created as a way for employees of podcasting platform Odeo to communicate more easily with each other. Then, no one thought that Twitter would reach current popularity and success. Initially, Twitter didn’t receive too favorable reviews and nobody really seemed to care too much about it. However, today, it has completely changed the way people consume content and communicate online.


Craigslist was originally created by former IBM employee, Craig Newmark. The idea behind it was to create an email list that will help him meet new people, as he just moved to San Francisco. In the early stages of this side hustle, it managed to achieve what it was created for. However, people quickly caught up to the idea and started using it for numerous other things as well. Today, it’s difficult to define what Craigslist actually is, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s quite successful. Moreover, the fact that this business has been around for more than 20 years also speaks volumes about its popularity and success.


ProductHunt is a great example of a side hustle where the founder, Ryan Hoover, didn’t actually create the business per se. Since he wasn’t familiar with all the technicalities of building a website, he decided to ask for help. He created an email list and pitched his idea to his friends as well as a handful of investors. One thing led to another, and ProductHunt was born. This business focuses on discovering new tech products. Over time, the community around ProductHunt reached hundreds of thousands of monthly users. What’s more, ProductHunt was recently sold to AngelList for a staggering $20 million. This just goes to show that if you have a good idea yet lack some of the practical knowledge, you really shouldn’t give up on your dreams. Instead, find a team of people willing to help you out and go for it!

pexels 843266AskGamblers

Ask Gamblers website is one of the most reputable online review websites in the world. Back in 2005 the founder of AskGamblers, Igor Salindrija, was just a law student. Since he lived in a rented apartment, he was looking for ways to boost his incomes. That’s when he started working in a casino cafe, where he felt like he didn’t quite fit in. However, that experience inspired him to create what’s today known as one of the top online casino review sites AskGamblers. By building one of the most reputable websites for online casino lovers, Salindrija managed to turn his side hustle into a lucrative endeavor. What’s more, AskGamblers was acquired by Catena Media for a staggering €15 million.


Groupon was originally created as a social network site for activists. It was originally called The Point and it was used to connect all the people interested in rallying behind a certain cause. Eric Lefkofsky, the founder of Groupon recognized the true potential of the platform once he noticed the users coming together to buy items in bulk and thus receive a discount. After the economic collapse back in 2008, Groupon was launched in Chicago. However, people recognized the potential of such a platform and it only continued to grow. With somewhere around 53 million users today, it’s safe to say this side hustle became quite a profitable venture.


Twitch was created as a social video platform for gamers and it was originally called In the early days, the only thing you could do with the platform was live stream the founder’s – Justin Kan’s life for 24 hours a day. Although this may not sound like everyone’s cup of tea, once they opened the platform for anyone to stream, things took a turn. Nowadays, there are numerous other categories on Twitch, aside from game streaming, which only continued to boost its popularity. In 2014, Amazon bought Twitch for a stunning $970 million.


Houzz is a great example of a side hustle turned successful that also doesn’t have anything to do with technology. In today’s world, anything tech-oriented almost instantly becomes a huge success. But Houzz is there to prove that you can still make a successful business even outside the strictly tech realm. This website features anything home improvement-related. With more than 40 million monthly users and over 1,000 employees, it’s safe to say that it’s quite successful. It was originally created as a website with useful resources regarding home improvement projects. Nowadays, they’re worth around $4 billion.

Starting a side hustle is something everyone can do. The fact that it costs way less to start a side hustle than to start a business means that anyone can give it a try. So, allow this article to inspire and motivate you and consider starting your own side hustle. Who knows, you might end up on a similar list in not such a distant future.

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Published on: 22nd July 2020

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