The million dollar homepage was one of the brighest ideas for making cash in the early days of the web. Created by a student to fund his education, the million dollar homepage’s concept is simple: on a 1000×1000 pixel page, he sold pixels at $1 a piece. It worked and the student made a comfortable $1 million out of this simple idea.
The student, Alex Tew, is the first to admit that his idea can only be applied once : the page got PR traction because of its novelty, but novelty is the only reason for attention. Any other attempt to build a 1 million dollar homepage should fail because the novelty traction has already been used.
A few updates on the million dollar homepage since launch in 2005 : Sales of pixels stopped January 2006 (thus $1 million gathered in 138 days), the last thousands pixels were sold through eBay, and 22% of the pixels’ links were rot as of 2014. A few links also redirect to spammy websites. Alex Tew said he had to hire help to process all the orders for ad buys during the time of operation. Alex Tew is now heading a personal health tech company. He tried a Nothing For 2 Minutes concept, the OneMillionPeople concept, he created the humor website Popjam that got closed and acquired… One can tell that Alex Tew would himself love to reiterate his one-million dollar stunt.
Alex Tew was right to explore other forms of iterations of the one million dollar homepage. By picking another type of support and another way to pay, maybe the idea can be duplicated in other forms.