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How One Man Makes Serious Money From Funny Products

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This story appears in the May 2016 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Viral websites typically follow the same life cycle: They spend a week flying around social media, make it into a late-night comedian’s monologue and then that’s it. Everyone’s had a laugh, and the site is forgotten. There was no reason to expect anything different of Ship Your Enemies Glitter, which, for about 10 bucks, would mail an envelope full of glitter to some unfortunate recipient. The site went viral last January. But then it veered off script: After a week, its creator put the site up for sale -- and someone bought it for $85,000, which digital denizens treated as its own punchline. “It’s an internet fad that will die out quickly,” wrote one Reddit commenter. “The person who bought it for $85K is going to hate themselves.” 

Carlton Davis

But here’s the thing: “It was the best investment of my life,” says the buyer, Peter Boychuk, who very much doesn’t hate himself. More than a year later, the site has done sales “in the high six figures.” And he beat the odds by thinking differently -- not as the owner of a viral site, but as the owner of a startup with lots of potential.

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