You can assume any given startup has a very good chance of dying. Maybe it's a bad idea—maybe it's a good idea with too much competition. But that doesn't stop everyone from trying, and trying, and now there are so many surplus startup ideas, there's a website dedicating to selling them at liquidation prices.
Here is SideProjectors, a sort of Filene's Basement of shabby intellectual property. You can browse companies—or at least their rough foundations—and buy them up for the amount of cash you have in your wallet.
There's TuneJet, "A web-based (HTML5) music streaming service that works virtually anywhere, making it a wonderful alternative to iTunes on iOS devices." $80
Or TrackingDiet, a website for "Tracking macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral intake." $1
The ambitiously titled Winestagram carries a simple premise:
After you & your friends open a wine bottle, take a photo that represents yourselves or your event. Upload the photo to Winestagram, and we'll give you a simple code. Write the code on your cork and keep the cork as a souvenir...you can use it to look up your photo in the future!
It can be yours for $10.
Other worn wares on SideProjectors carry prices of up to $20,000, while some ask for nothing more than a co-founder—someone else to shoulder the burden.
But you've got to wonder, what sort of company winds up here to begin with? This isn't an antique store, where some shabby snuff case can wind up a treasure. These are ideas that are one short step away from oblivion, the shelter for flea-ridden idea dogs that should probably just be put down. Lots of these proto-companies are the work of someone with a day job—ergo the "side" in SideProjectors. But if you're in tech, you're never supposed to stop innovating—to Move Fast and Break Things. This means that even if you're already neck-deep in a dubious startup, that's no reason to not break ground on a new idea—or five new ideas. Success by volume. No one questions the wisdom in working on ten nebulous things at once, because, hey, you can always sell it to someone for coffee money the day after.