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Million Dollar Homepage

Million Dollar Homepage
How often do you come across a simple, but inspired business idea that has the potential to make its creators rich, and say to yourself, ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ Back in 2005, 21 year old Alex Tew from Wiltshire in England had just such an idea! About to embark on a three year business programme at university, Alex was worried about the debt he would incur if he took out a student loan. He wanted to find a way of raising money to fund his education. Instead of searching for a summer job, Alex had the novel idea of raising money through a website, but this was no ordinary website.
The Million Dollar Homepage was made up of a million pixels, arranged in a 1000 by 1000 pixel grid. Pixels could be purchased in blocks of 10 by 10. Each pixel cost one $1. Purchasers could add their own image, logo or advertisement and include a hyperlink to their own website. Alex made the strategic decision to sell the pixels in US dollars instead of UK pounds. The US has a larger population, and he also thought that more people would relate to the idea if the pixels were sold in US dollars. Alex just had to register the domain name and pay for a basic web hosting package, his total setup costs were just $50.
The site featured a pixel counter showing the number of pixels sold, and an empty square grid of 1,000,000 pixels divided into 10,000 by 100 pixel blocks. Alex committed to the site being live for five years. To begin with, the site was promoted through word of mouth. Alex sold the first 400 pixels to a friend who operated an online music website. Pixel sales quickly took off, and when they reached a thousand dollars, Alex sent out a press release, which was picked up by the BBC. By September the site was featuring on technology news sites, and by the end of that month, pixel sales had reached $250000. Over ten days In October, unique visitor traffic grew from 65,000 to 100,000 per day.
It took just two months to sell over half a million pixels. By New Year’s Eve, 999,000 of one million pixels had been purchased, and the site was receiving 25,000 unique visitors every hour. On the 1st of January 2006, Alex decided to auction the final 1000 pixels on eBay. The winning bid of $38,000 came from an online company called After charity donations, taxes and costs, Alex expected his net income to be around $700,000. He eventually became a millionaire. His celebrity status in the Internet community was assured.
As Alex observed: ‘The crucial thing in creating the media interest was the
idea itself: it was unique and quirky enough to stand out.’ Alex only completed one term of the business degree the site was set up to fund. He later founded Popjam, an Internet aggregation and social networking business. Now based in San Francisco, A lex is the founder and CEO of Calm, which claims it is the number one app for sleep, meditation and relaxation, with over 50 million downloads and over 700,000 five-star reviews. Not bad for a 21 year old student from Wiltshire.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “How could I make a lot of money really quickly without investing much?”.

Well, that’s exactly what Alex Tew did. Let’s have a look at his unique venture. Please watch the following case study video.

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