View Full Version : The million-dollar student

06-01-06, 20:01
The million-dollar student

It took a 21-year-old a few minutes to come up with an idea which has made him more than one million dollars in four months. So what's his secret?

It started with a blank notepad, an overdraft and a shortage of socks.

Now it's a million-dollar business.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41188000/jpg/_41188112_millionaire_203.jpg http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41186000/jpg/_41186274_homepage203.jpg

http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/ (http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/)

Last August, as a three-year degree loomed, Alex Tew lay on his bed in his family home in Cricklade, Wiltshire. It was time for his nightly brainstorming session.

This time, the problem was his finances. He already had an overdraft, which was sure to multiply at university, and he felt his poverty was reflected by his lack of decent, or matching, socks.

The first thing he wrote in his pad was "How can I become a millionaire?" Twenty minutes later, the Million Dollar Homepage idea was born.

It was selling pixels, the dots which make up a computer screen, as advertising space, costing a dollar per dot. The minimum purchase was $100 for a 10x10 pixel square to hold the buyer's logo or design. Clicking on that space takes readers to the buyer's website. With $999,000 banked so far, Alex recalls his thought process at the time. He says: "I wrote the title to spark the creativity and then wrote down the attributes the idea needed. It had to be simple to set up and understand.

"It had to have a name to capture the imagination and be something that could be set up quickly with no physical delivery required.
"I wrote down some keywords and then the idea came out 20 minutes later - selling pixels. So I snapped up the domain name that very night."
Snowballing Alex spent 50 on buying the domain name (milliondollarhomepage.com) and a basic web-hosting package. He designed the site himself but it began as a blank page. His friends and family paid the first $1,000 dollars, which he spent on a press release. That small publicity gave his site more traffic, which in turn persuaded more advertisers to have faith.

"It snowballed," he says. "As I made money, more people talked about it and the more people talked about it, the more money I made."
Four months and 2,000 customers later, including The Times and Orange, and the million dollars is almost surpassed. Two million different people have accessed the site, which has a wry blog and FAQs, in the last seven days.

Full Story bbc.co.uk (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4585026.stm)

06-01-06, 20:05
Woah! From what I've learned on my web design course, that's exactly how NOT to set up the navigation. But if it make him millions, good on him! It's certainly very creative. I could spend ages trawling over the little squares! :D

06-01-06, 20:13
I don't know whether to congratulate him or HATE him.....


06-01-06, 20:13
That's great! Go him! And, out of curiosity, how many rip-offs are there?

06-01-06, 20:14
I don't know whether to congratulate him or HATE him.....


Yes, it's one of those 'It's so simple, why didn't I think of it?' things. :)

06-01-06, 20:16
That's one brilliant idea :tmb:

(but if someone had mentioned it to me earlier, I would've said "Bah, what idiot is going to give you $100 for a 10 pixels ad?!". Clearly I know nothing of how business works :p)

06-01-06, 20:24
$100 for a load of coloured squares?! :vlol:

Oh well, Congratz to him I suppose. :wve: