1 year ago
How to Make $1,037,100 in 4 Months with This Weird Website
One great idea might make you rich.
Imagine having a million-dollar concept in college that made a million.
Alex Tew, 21, from Wiltshire, England, created The Million Dollar Homepage in August 2005. The idea is basic but beyond the ordinary, which is why it worked.
Alex built a 1,000,000-pixel webpage.
Each website pixel would cost $1. Since pixels are hard to discern, he sold 10x10 squares for $100.
He'd make a million if all the spots sold.
He may have thought about NFTs and the Metaverse decades ago.
MillionDollarHomepage.com launched in 2005.
Businesses and individuals could buy a website spot and add their logo, website link, and tagline. You bought an ad, but nobody visited the website.
If a few thousand people visited the website, it could drive traffic to your business's site.
Alex promised buyers the website would be up for 5 years, so it was a safe bet.
Alex's friend with a music website was the first to buy real estate on the site. Within two weeks, 4,700 pixels sold, and a tracker showed how many were sold and available.
Word-of-mouth marketing got the press's attention quickly. Everyone loves reading about new ways to make money, so it was a good news story.
By September, over 250,000 pixels had been sold, according to a BBC press release.
Alex and the website gained more media and public attention, so traffic skyrocketed. Two months after the site launched, 1,400 customers bought more than 500,000 pixels.
Businesses bought online real estate. They heard thousands visited the site, so they could get attention cheaply.
Unless you bought a few squares, I'm not sure how many people would notice your ad or click your link.
A sponge website owner emailed Alex:
“We tried Million Dollar Homepage because we were impressed at the level of ingenuity and the sheer simplicity of it. If we’re honest, we didn’t expect too much from it. Now, as a direct result, we are pitching for £18,000 GBP worth of new clients and have seen our site traffic increase over a hundred-fold. We’re even going to have to upgrade our hosting facility! It’s been exceptional.”
Web.archive.org screenshots show how the website changed.
“The idea is to create something of an internet time capsule: a homepage that is unique and permanent. Everything on the internet keeps changing so fast, it will be nice to have something that stays solid and permanent for many years. You can be a part of that!” Alex Tew, 2005
The last 1,000 pixels were sold on January 1, 2006.
By then, the homepage had hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. Alex put the last space on eBay due to high demand.
MillionDollarWeightLoss.com won the last pixels for $38,100, bringing revenue to $1,037,100 in 4 months.
Many have tried to replicate this website's success. They've all failed.
This idea only worked because no one had seen this website before.
This winner won't be repeated, but it should inspire you to try something new and creative.
Still popular, you could buy one of the linked domains. You can't buy pixels, but you can buy an expired domain.
One link I clicked costs $59,888.
You'd own a piece of internet history if you spent that much on a domain.
Someone bought stablesgallery.co.uk after the domain expired and restored it.
Many of the linked websites have expired or been redirected, but some still link to the original. I couldn't find sponge's website. Can you?
This is a great example of how a simple creative idea can go viral.
Comment on this amazing success story.
1 year ago
In five years, starting a business won't be hip.
People are slowly recognizing entrepreneurship's downside.
Growing up, entrepreneurship wasn't common. High school class of 2012 had no entrepreneurs.
Businesses were different.
They had staff and a lengthy history of achievement.
I never wanted a business. It felt unattainable. My friends didn't care.
People desired degrees to attain good jobs at big companies.
When graduated high school:
9 out of 10 people attend college
Earn minimum wage (7%) working in a restaurant or retail establishment
Or join the military (3%)
Later, entrepreneurship became a thing.
I was in the military and most of my high school friends were in college, so I didn't hear anything.
Entrepreneurship soared in 2015, according to Google Trends.
Then more individuals were interested. Entrepreneurship went from unusual to cool.
In 2015, it was easier than ever to build a website, run Facebook advertisements, and achieve organic social media reach.
There were several online business tools.
You didn't need to spend years or money figuring it out. Most entry barriers were gone.
Everyone wanted a side gig to escape the 95.
Small company applications have increased during the previous 10 years.
2011-2014 trend continues.
2015 adds 150,000 applications. 2016 adds 200,000. Plus 300,000 in 2017.
The graph makes it look little, but that's a considerable annual spike with no indications of stopping.
By 2021, new business apps had doubled.
Entrepreneurship will return to its early 2010s level.
I think we'll go backward in 5 years.
Entrepreneurship is half as popular as it was in 2015.
In the late 2020s and 30s, entrepreneurship will again be obscure.
Entrepreneurship's decade-long splendor is fading. People will cease escaping 9-5 and launch fewer companies.
That’s not a bad thing.
I think people have a rose-colored vision of entrepreneurship. It's fashionable. People feel that they're missing out if they're not entrepreneurial.
Reality is showing up.
People say on social media, "I knew starting a business would be hard, but not this hard."
More negative posts on entrepreneurship:
Is being an entrepreneur ‘healthy’? I don’t really think so. Many like Gary V, are not role models for a well-balanced life. Despite what feel-good LinkedIn tells you the odds are against you as an entrepreneur. You have to work your face off. It’s a tough but rewarding lifestyle. So maybe let’s stop glorifying it because it takes a lot of (bleepin) work to survive a pandemic, mental health battles, and a competitive market.
Entrepreneurship is no longer a pipe dream.
I went full-time in March 2020. I was done by April 2021. I had a good-paying job with perks.
When that fell through (on my start date), I had to continue my entrepreneurial path. I needed money by May 1 to pay rent.
Entrepreneurship isn't as great as many think.
Entrepreneurship is a serious business.
If you have a 9-5, the grass isn't greener here. Most people aren't telling the whole story when they post on social media or quote successful entrepreneurs.
People prefer to communicate their victories than their defeats.
Is this a bad thing?
I don’t think so.
Over the previous decade, entrepreneurship went from impossible to the finest thing ever.
It peaked in 2020-21 and is returning to reality.
Startups aren't for everyone.
If you like your job, don't quit.
Entrepreneurship won't amaze people if you quit your job.
And you'll probably make less money.
If you hate your job, quit. Change jobs and bosses. Changing jobs could net you a greater pay or better perks.
When you go solo, your paycheck and perks vanish. Did I mention you'll fail, sleep less, and stress more?
Nobody will stop you from pursuing entrepreneurship. You'll face several challenges.
Entrepreneurship may be romanticized for years.
Based on what I see from entrepreneurs on social media and trends, entrepreneurship is challenging and few will succeed.