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50 Small Business Ideas Ranked By How Good Ian MacKaye Would Be at Running Them

Ian MacKaye has had many successes over his career. He has been a key figure in multiple influential bands, the owner and operator of a prolific record label, and a former Häagen-Dazs “Employee of the Month.”

But are these successes merely flashes in the pan, or does the man truly just crap gold? We took a look at the numbers and ranked fifty potential small business ventures based on how well we think they could be run by Ian MacKaye, who from this point on we will respectfully refer to as “Mr. MacKaye” or, more reverently, “The Businessman.”

50. Investment Bank

Starting out pretty obvious here. Mr. MacKaye may be pretty good with money, which is why we know he would absolutely burn this motherfucker down for the insurance payout within the first five minutes.

49. Ballet Academy

The Businessman is top-heavy and one spin is enough to send him through three different sets of walls. Besides, it’s a pain in the ass to plié with Doc Martens on.

48. Cattle Ranch

We’re not even sure that Mr. MacKaye knows what a cow is, let alone him being able to wrangle and milk like eight thousand of them all the time. Not to mention tractors are harder than tour vans to keep up and running regularly.

47. Grain Alcohol Distillery

Mr. MacKaye has hated alcohol since he was a teenager. Assuming he’s even aware of how combustible grain alcohol is, then there’s no chance this business isn’t immediately going up in flames.

46. Gun Range

Generally, gun people love to give long, stupid speeches about their beliefs, but aren’t necessarily fans of having speeches pointed back at them. That’s where we feel like Mr. MacKaye is going to alienate a lot of his potential clientele. Maybe he’d do better with bow and arrow? Let’s find out somewhere in the mid-30s on this list.

45. Cabinetmaker

The Businessman would abandon this business purely from lack of interest. Also, when he first went in he thought it meant amp cabinets and he just never got over that.

44. Academic Publishing Company

The bullshit factor at one of these “publish or perish” paper factories is so high that Mr. MacKaye would put his head through the office’s plate glass window rather than re-edit the second proof of the “Journal of Nonsense To Be Debunked Six Months From Now.”

43. Barber Shop

Even when Mr. MacKaye had hair, it was never his main priority. Unless this place caters exclusively to skinheads and stepfathers who watch too many movies about Navy SEALS then the business is going under in less time than it takes to buzz a scalp. Also, we’re pretty sure Barbicide has alcohol in it, which certainly won’t help.

42. Bakery

What? Did The Businessman suddenly become a talented yet unfulfilled white woman looking to be blindsided by love in an early 2000s rom-com? Actually, don’t think too hard about that one. Anyways, we stand by this ranking.

41. Magic Shop

At least with this one Mr. MacKaye had the foresight to gaze into the crystal ball to see that no matter how hard he tries this place is going under before he ever has to restock the novelty rabbit hats.

40. Trout Hatchery

What are the logistics of managing a small, organic, farm to table style trout hatchery? How the hell should we know? Is that even actually a thing? Regardless, Mr. MacKaye is gonna be in hot water attempting to run this small business – and hot water will also likely be the reason all of his fish die.

39. Used Car Lot

This place would only sell eco-friendly compact cars that burn old banana peels for fuel and fifteen-passenger tour vans that also only burn banana peels for fuel.

38. Archery School

Mr. MacKaye probably isn’t the biggest fan of bowhunting, but he is certainly in favor of self-defense in the scene. Still, if he ran this one we would anticipate a sharp uptick in random arrow wounds being reported in the D.C. metropolitan area.

37. Gas Station

Here’s a little-known fact: Mr. MacKaye is legally banned from every Sunoco in the contiguous United States. No member of the public knows why, and it’s literally the only thing he refuses to talk about in interviews, but according to a trusted source who requested to remain anonymous (fuck it, it was Guy Picciotto) his ass treated the tile in the restroom at the Marietta location like a power washer trying to get gum off a sidewalk, and apparently management has never forgiven him.

36. Private Investigator

This is like two steps outside of cop, so we know The Businessman’s not enthusiastic going in. He’ll certainly give it his best as a professional, but there’s no way he’s gonna be able to silently sift through a dumpster looking for evidence without causing enough commotion to alert every suspect in the vicinity that they’ve been made.

35. Tapas Restaurant

We can’t really see Mr. MacKaye going into this business with a whole lot of enthusiasm. He’s still a professional and he’ll give it his best, but at the end of the day he would absolutely hate this work – and you can’t serve croquettes that were made with hate.

34. Remote Controlled Car Kiosk at the Mall

Doesn’t this just look like fun? All you do all day is drive little toy cars around. Fun! Definitely not Mr. MacKaye’s cup of tea, everyone knows he gave up having fun in 1989.

33. Dude Ranch

Giddy up, giddy up, Mr. MacKaye! You’re gonna have to learn how to ride a horse and erect barbed wire fences real goddamn fast if you want half a shot at this business making any money.

32. Veterinary Clinic

Mr. MacKaye definitely gives off strong cat person energy. But regardless, his animal hospital would probably do pretty poorly. Somewhere between all of the complimentary pet care services for “the good of the Doberman scene” and the choice to invest in DIY fish penicillin, we don’t see this business making it more than a year.

31. Churro Stand

Running a churro stand is a surprisingly high-stress venture. You mean to say you want cinnamon AND powdered sugar on the same stick!? Go to hell – you’ve bankrupted The Businessman.

30. Karate Dojo

Yeah, maybe he can throw a punch – but you can tell he would definitely apologize to you afterward and that wasted time is really gonna eat into his bottom line on this one.

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