Originally Posted by Henry17
Pursuing a personal interest that turns out to be extremely lucrative that wasn't known to have the potential to lucrative beforehand is a pretty rare phenomenon. I actually can't think of a single example so I'm curious if you can give one?
It depends on how charitable you want to be on "that wasn't known to have the potential to be lucrative", but I think the Napster example fits.
The Lonely Planet Guides is another example off the top of my head. Was started by hippies for hippies with no aspiration of becoming a very profitable business, let alone a publishing empire.
Dungeons & Dragons.
Wite-out. (Meh on second thought just read the wiki story and the woman who invented this seemed rather savvy about it.)
I'm sure tons of inventions were made ad hoc rather than with an eye to being marketed (btw there is a ton of luck in the field of invention, people getting beaten out for patents rights by a week or whatever).
I dunno I suspect there are innumerable examples actually but this is not a topic I have read up on.
Keep in mind this point came up as a response to your argument that successful people would be successful regardless of the particular circumstances they happened to succeed in. So what's relevant is that sometimes people pursue a hobby or interest simply as a labor of love and it turns out to be extremely profitable.