Dating web site HotOrNot has been sold to Canadian company Avid Life Media, "a network of targeted niche brands with highly engaged users", for around $20M in June 2007.
Inspite being $60,000 in debts, then students Hong and co-founder Jim Young made a barter deal with IT hosting company Rackspace: "publicity" for a server and bandwith. And I guess the rest is history... with a nice happy ending... even though some find the amount offered too low for such a profitable start-up!
'Creativity is what happens when you take a zero off the budget'.
Have fun, come up with products that you would like.
Eat the ramen ( baked beans?) instead of going to Silicon Valley
Differentiate yourself and your customers
Focus on your users