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Cash pours in for student with $million Web idea

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Cash pours in for student with $million Web idea

Old 12-29-05, 12:31 PM
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Cash pours in for student with $million Web idea

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051229/ts_nm/homepage_dc

By Peter Graff
38 minutes ago

LONDON (Reuters) - If you have an envious streak, you probably shouldn't read this.

Because chances are, Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from a small town in England, is cleverer than you. And he is proving it by earning a cool million dollars in four months on the Internet.

Selling porn? Dealing prescription drugs? Nope. All he sells are pixels, the tiny dots on the screen that appear when you call up his home page.

He had the brainstorm for his million dollar home page, called, logically enough, www.milliondollarhomepage.com, while lying in bed thinking out how he would pay for university.

The idea: turn his home page into a billboard made up of a million dots, and sell them for a dollar a dot to anyone who wants to put up their logo. A 10 by 10 dot square, roughly the size of a letter of type, costs $100.

He sold a few to his brothers and some friends, and when he had made $1,000, he issued a press release.

That was picked up by the news media, spread around the Internet, and soon advertisers for everything from dating sites to casinos to real estate agents to The Times of London were putting up real cash for pixels, with links to their own sites.

So far they have bought up 911,800 pixels. Tew's home page now looks like an online Times Square, festooned with a multi-colored confetti of ads.

"All the money's kind of sitting in a bank account," Tew told Reuters from his home in Wiltshire, southwest England. "I've treated myself to a car. I've only just passed my driving test so I've bought myself a little black mini."

The site features testimonials from advertisers, some of whom bought spots as a lark, only to discover that they were receiving actual valuable Web hits for a fraction of the cost of traditional Internet advertising.

Meanwhile Tew has had to juggle running the site with his first term at university, where he is studying business.

"It's been quite a difficulty trying to balance going to lectures and doing the site," he said.

But he may not have to study for long. Job offers have been coming in from Internet companies impressed by a young man who managed to figure out an original way to make money online.

"I didn't expect it to happen like that," Tew said. "To have the job offers and approaches from investors -- the whole thing is kind of surreal. I'm still in a state of disbelief."


Damn! Now why didn't I think of this?

Chris
Old 12-29-05, 12:36 PM
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smart kid...

i wonder if he's going to save and invest or spend spend till broke.
Old 12-29-05, 12:37 PM
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So he's a millionaire now because he came up with an idea to make a website with no content, just banner ads? Un-be-lieveable.
Old 12-29-05, 12:54 PM
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Yeah, figured I'd see a big ad for Golden Palace Casino on there
Old 12-29-05, 01:01 PM
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Damn. Each one is a link too.

Smart kid. Then again...its only because the media picked it up...
Old 12-29-05, 03:00 PM
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I just saw this at work and I'm walking around like a loon telling everyone. These kind of stories blow my mind.
Old 12-29-05, 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted by atlantamoi
I just saw this at work and I'm walking around like a loon telling everyone. These kind of stories blow my mind.
And so more and more people find out about this site giving him more and more exposure and more and more money. Ah, the beauty of it all.

How the heck did he get family and friends to chip in 1000 bucks to "advertise" on his site in the first place? And why would him having this idea make other companies want to hire him?
Old 12-29-05, 03:33 PM
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http://www.thepixelwars.com/
Old 12-29-05, 04:22 PM
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The last laugh is on the idiots spending thousands to put ad money on this page.
Old 12-29-05, 04:35 PM
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Pretty neat, there are some interesting links on there.

Including Golden Palace Casino TomOpus


Lotsa poker sites thats fo' sho'

Last edited by woofman; 12-29-05 at 04:37 PM.
Old 12-29-05, 06:19 PM
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He's not smart. All of those advertisers are just incredibly dumb.
Old 12-29-05, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
He's not smart. All of those advertisers are just incredibly dumb.
Seeing his bank account, that really doesn't matter, now does it. That's exactly what making money is all about: Convincing your advertisers you are special and that you deserve their millions of dollars.

I can just imagine Don Lapre and a shitload of other former bankrupt infomercial gurus selling the same idea in 2006 with their exaggerated jump-dancin' expressions and wide-open eyes.

But what's really pathetic, is the hundreds of web pages slowly getting on the net, selling the same original idea. But that's capitalism and the free market: 1% original, 99% imitation.
Old 12-29-05, 06:58 PM
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I briefly considered taking a stab at advertising there but thought better of it. It would be a real waste of money. A nice sized banner can be had on a site with actual content for a lot less money than that.
Old 12-29-05, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
He's not smart. All of those advertisers are just incredibly dumb.
How so?

Spending $100 for a small ad that'll recieve a shitload of hits due to the media attention doesn't sound dumb to me. In fact, I suspect it'd be pretty cost-effective.
Old 12-29-05, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by bboisvert
How so?

Spending $100 for a small ad that'll recieve a shitload of hits due to the media attention doesn't sound dumb to me. In fact, I suspect it'd be pretty cost-effective.

Yeah, the dumb people are the media people that ran the story in the first place.
Old 12-29-05, 11:08 PM
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911,800 does not equal a million.
Old 12-29-05, 11:10 PM
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You get a lot of hits for the cost of a few measly pixels on there. I've seen it first hand. The advertisers are not dumb at all.

Can't believe this story is only hitting the US press now!
Old 12-29-05, 11:42 PM
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I read about this about a month ago, from a KFI Podcast by Leo Laporte. Ingenius really. I wish I had thought of that.
Old 12-29-05, 11:57 PM
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It's all about marketing.

I wish I could get some - that's the ticket - how do you get the media to 'pick you up' and make you million(s).
Old 12-30-05, 12:51 AM
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Clicked on this really cool link for an independant dvd/book set called The Book of Cool which people seem to loved and the critics rave about it, but I've never heard of it. Has anyone here? http://www.bookofcool.com/
Old 12-30-05, 02:28 AM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
911,800 does not equal a million.
No, but when he sells all of the spots on his page, it will be.
Old 12-30-05, 03:36 AM
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Oh this kid is gonna be impossible to live with! Anything his family says to him for the rest of their lives, he'll just say "oh, I have a million dollars in the bank from my idea and let's see, YOU do NOT appear to have a million dollars." I can hear Cartman's voice now.
Old 12-30-05, 04:12 AM
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I just don't get it. Is anybody going to even visit the webpage other than curiousity? I know I won't be clicking on any of the links.
Old 12-30-05, 04:47 AM
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Well, I think he's quite a clever lad, and fair play to him.
Old 12-30-05, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Fincher Fan
I know I won't be clicking on any of the links.
Why not?

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