How to Make a Million Dollars Fast with a Website
This is one of my favorite stories. It’s so simple, so easy to make, that it seems it can’t be true… But it is! This is a story about how a million dollars idea could be created just in 20 minutes, the story of http://www.milliondollarhomepage.com/. “Own a Piece of Internet History” is the slogan, under which the site appears in the search results of popular search engines, and its place there is well-deserved.
How to make a million dollars fast? Here is how…
Once upon a time, there was a British student called Alex Tew, 21, who experienced a shortage of money for his university education. In 2005 he was about to start a business management course, and he was really worried about the money needed to finance his education. He didn’t want to find himself in a situation in which he would be paying off a student loan for years after graduation. A money-making plan was needed to prevent this from happening. Alex was determined to avoid getting seriously indebted for years and took a blank sheet of paper and a pen. Then he started a brainstorming session. After several minutes, just one question appeared on the sheet: How can I become a millionaire? Several minutes later there was an answer – sell one million pixels from a web page, for one dollar each, to people who want to advertise. Simple and just beautiful idea. Initially, it seemed to be impossible to make a million with such a crazy idea, but there was nothing to be lost.
The Business Idea Is Working…
The student knew something about web design and spent his pocket money on a domain name and a hosting account. In a couple of days, the site was up and running. The smallest advertising space that could be purchased was 10 x 10 pixels square for 100 bucks each. The first ads were bought by some family members and friends and Tew already had 1000 dollars in sales. More popularity was needed. Instead of drinking himself into oblivion, and celebrating the first profits, Alex spent all he earned on some media publications in the local newspapers. This was really a smart move – reinvesting the revenue back into the business. The media found his idea really interesting, and soon it appeared in many other newspapers for free. The business started to expand really quickly and just in a couple of weeks, Tew had 40 000 green dollars in revenue. This was completely enough for him to start even two business management courses. But the moneymaking machine had just started. Magazines, newspapers, bloggers, and many other subjects found the idea just fascinating and media interest skyrocketed.
The Million Dollars Target Reached
Several months after the start of the venture, the pixel reserves were almost sold out and the revenue reached 1 000 000 dollars. At the end of the pixel sales, there were only 1 000 pixels left, and thousands of people wanted to buy them. The pixels were sold for nearly 40 thousand dollars on an eBay auction.
It was not as easy as it seemed…
But nothing was as easy as it seemed. Tew experienced many problems during his ‘business journey’. He and his million dollars site were both not prepared for the big explosion of sales and traffic. Every link and banner had to be manually inserted into the page and when the purchase orders reached several hundred Alex had to hire some people to help him with placing his clients’ banners. Also, his hosting account at some point in time was not able to serve all visitors to the site, which reached 4 000 000 in the last couple of months. This was not enough, but his payment account was blocked because of the flood of so much money in so short a time. But Tew managed to quickly resolve all of these and some other issues. His solution-finding skills were one of the main factors for his great business success in such a short period of time.
“The biggest thing I’ve learned is to have faith in creativity because ideas work“, Alex Tew, an Internet entrepreneur.
The Million Dollars Website
Though the concept was relatively simple, it took the internet world by storm and generated millions of dollars. By the time the webpage had gone offline in 2006, over one million pixels had been sold to over 350 companies and individuals.
Today, it is seen as one of the earliest examples of online crowd-funding and served as a precursor to crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter. The project earned Alex $1,037,100 which he subsequently donated to charities. In the 14 years since the website first launched, it has become a cult classic amongst web developers and entrepreneurs. It has served to inspire many to go for their dreams and to work hard in their chosen industries.
Despite Alex’s success and fame, he continues to inspire and mentor students and entrepreneurs. In 2019, Alex was appointed as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Warwick and continues to help young entrepreneurs break into the tech industry.
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