Less than two weeks ago, 22-year-old Mathew Carpenter started a snarky site that sold a single service: It would ship your enemies glitter for a mere $9.99. Today, he's apparently sold the fledgling business for a casual $85,000.
The catchy idea – simple, clever, provides a great instant visual –and the spot-on nature of Carpenter's copy (glitter is so obviously, as he writes, "the herpes of the craft world") combined to elevate the bare-bones website into a viral sensation.
Orders began flooding in. Having started the service "as a bit of a joke" Carpenter was apparently ill-prepared for the onslaught. "I'm a 22-year-old dude that has too much free time apparently because now my plans for the next few weeks will consist of sending stupid glitter to terrible people," he told The Daily Mail Australia.
So he decided to shut it down; in a post on the startup news site Product Hunt, he implored potential buyers to stop ordering "this horrible glitter product" because he was "sick of dealing it."
Here at Entrepreneur, we took him to task for committing the "cardinal sin in the entrepreneurial world," namely squandering an opportunity, "the eighth deadly sin of business" and "snatching failure from the jaws of victory."
And it's true: With more commitment and seriousness Carpenter probably could have had an actual successful business on his hands. (He claims he took in more than $20,000 in orders before he stopped taking them.) Instead, he decided put up ShipYourEnemiesGlitter up for sale on Flippa, a marketplace for buying and selling websites. It just sold for $85,000, The Guardian reports, so despite his lackadaisical attitude no one can say he's not walking away with a pretty profit.
In the meantime, real-life aspiring entrepreneurs have stepped in to fill where Carpenter left off. Still want to ship your enemies glitter? You're in luck, because a host of new sites will now do it for you.
Meanwhile, on the ShipYourEnemiesGlitter website, you'll now find this:
Purchasing has been temporarily suspended. You guys have a sick fascination with shipping people glitter. We've received all orders & working through them. There was a ton so be patient. You can spam me on Twitter for updates@matcarpenter or like the website on Facebook.