Sunday, January 01, 2006

Wish I'd Thought of That

LONDON (Reuters) - If you have an envious streak, you probably shouldn't read this.
Because chances are, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is cleverer than you. And he is proving it by earning a cool million dollars in four months on the Internet.
Selling porn? Dealing prescription drugs? Nope. All he sells are pixels, the tiny dots on the screen that appear when you call up his home page.
He had the brainstorm for his million dollar home page, called, logically enough, MillionDollarHomePage, while lying in bed thinking out how he would pay for university.
The idea: turn his home page into a billboard made up of a million dots, and sell them for a dollar a dot to anyone who wants to put up their logo. A 10 by 10 dot square, roughly the size of a letter of type, costs $100.
He sold a few to his brothers and some friends, and when he had made $1,000, he issued a press release.
That was picked up by the news media, spread around the Internet, and soon advertisers for everything from dating sites to casinos to real estate agents to The Times of London were putting up real cash for pixels, with links to their own sites.
So far they have bought up 911,800 pixels. Tew's home page now looks like an online Times Square, festooned with a multi-colored confetti of ads.
"All the money's kind of sitting in a bank account," Tew told Reuters from his home in Wiltshire, southwest England. "I've treated myself to a car. I've only just passed my driving test so I've bought myself a little black mini."
The site features testimonials from advertisers, some of whom bought spots as a lark, only to discover that they were receiving actual valuable Web hits for a fraction of the cost of traditional Internet advertising.
Meanwhile Tew has had to juggle running the site with his first term at university, where he is studying business.
"It's been quite a difficulty trying to balance going to lectures and doing the site," he said.
But he may not have to study for long. Job offers have been coming in from Internet companies impressed by a young man who managed to figure out an original way to make money online.
"I didn't expect it to happen like that," Tew said. "To have the job offers and approaches from investors -- the whole thing is kind of surreal. I'm still in a state of disbelief."



Smart kid.
Happy 2006.
I see you,

MaryGinder said...

Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

This guys takes the concept a step further...LOL

A little nutty, but kind of cool. We'll see how it does. Like the charity angle!

Shannon said...

hmmm me too wish I though of it... sure other people can do it here... just do not know how... do you....?

Anonymous said...

Following the success of, thousands of copy-cats have appeared. They won't get too far since the idea
of selling pixels is no longer novel. But now this site has
popped up:

Claiming to "change the way advertising works", is
doing something truly unique. It's selling only one ad. That's
right, there is only space for ONE ad on the page. The first
ad costs $1. To replace the ad, the next advertiser must pay $2.
After that, it costs $4, and so on. Each new ad costs twice
the amount of the previous ad. That means the 21st ad costs over
one million dollars. The creator seems convinced he can reach his
goal, which actually seems possible if he can generate enough
buzz. He's keeping a detailed blog, and so far only the 1st
ad has sold for $1! How is this going to turn out?