Cheap, Stupid Ideas that Last

An expensive, stupid idea can last 10 years. But at some point it the cost will cause people to smarten up. A ponzi scheme is an expensive, stupid idea.

A cheap, stupid idea can last forever.

Whenever, I see a stupid idea. I take a good look at it. The stupider and longer lasting it is, the more effort I put in looking.

Every time I see one of these, I see something I am underestimating. Something I don’t understand. And Something that is likely about to be part of something really really big.


There’s tons of really dumb, really cheap startups out there. AirBNB lets you live in strangers homes? Sounds pretty dumb to me.

These are the ones grow really big. Most are really just dumb ideas though and don’t last.


Sometimes there isn’t an idea or product that’s dumb, but an entire community.

There was a Fuel dumping community on Flyertalk for many years.

Fuel dumping was a term finding glitches in airline tickets that accidentally gave you a decent discount and lots of miles. Because airlines didn’t like this, Flyertalk had one forum with thousands of posts all talking in code trying to share fuel dumping tips. I believe the community has since died down but Whatsapp came out of it along with a few other companies that died.


Esperanto is a man made artificial language.

On a technical level, it is supposedly easier to learn and solves tons of issues popular languages like English have.

If we all were fluent in it already, it would be a great default language. But we aren’t. And the amount of effort it would take to even get a country to have this be their national language far outweighs any benefit it has.

Even with all that, it has stuck around for over 100 years. The people who take the time to learn are obsessed with it.

There’s even a program to where you can live for free in houses around the world as long as you agree to only speak Esperanto while you stay there:

It is incredibly dumb and incredibly long lasting by all accounts. I am watching and seeing what may come out of that community.


I find myself going back and forth on crypto. It has no known use and yet some people use it every day. It has no real value and yet hundreds of millions (billions maybe) are flowing through it.

Dumb ideas that last. This one is extraordinarily dumb and extraordinarily lasting, it has the signs of causing the biggest change.