As many of you know, I regularly answer questions on Quora. By far, one of the most frequent questions I get is, how do I earn $1,000,000? This figure seems to be the target of many who wish to start their business. I normally help them understand that if your main goal of starting a business is becoming rich, then your business will probably fail.
Enter the $1,000,000 homepage.
I always thought that the keyword in that last phrase was fail, but maybe it’s probably. Some entrepreneurs do earn six figures and one, at least, did it in a very simple way. Welcome to the million dollar homepage.
It was created back in 2005 by a young Alex Tew. This British student was struggling to raise the funds needed to go to University. Instead of the usual way, getting a part time job, Tew thought of an innovative idea. He would sell advertising space on his website, at the price of $1 per pixel. There would be, of course, $1,000,000 worth of pixels for sale.
At this point, it is good to remind you what the Internet was like in 2005. This was a time when Facebook was just for University students, Amazon only sold books and going viral meant spreading disease. Only 15% of the global population had access to The Internet and websites were still basic in design and concept.
Tew’s overnight success.
I do not generally like to talk about overnight successes, as these are months in the making. Nevertheless, Tew beats these odds and his website idea gains traction very quickly. Reporters, first from the UK but quickly from other parts of the world want to talk about his project. His website was one of the first to go viral.
The business concept is so simple, that everyone could have thought of it. However, only Tew acted upon it. Needless to say, he reached his $1,000,000 target but also dropped out of university that same year. His website is, for the greater part, inactive, except for the homepage.
You can still see the companies which supported Tew’s idea. Ebay, The Times and Bet365 all bought pixels on the million dollar homepage. Today, they form part of one of the Internet’s most bizarre business ideas. The moral of the story is, of course, if you have a business idea in your head, make it happen.