a million dot com - 31st December 2005
The Sydney Morning Herald - The Guardian)
A first year university student selling tiny chunks
of advertising space on a website is on the brink
of making $US1 million ($1.36 million).
Tew, 21, of Wiltshire, England, sold the first spot
on his Million Dollar Homepage at the end of August.
Four months on, the idea has taken the internet by
storm and is attracting the attention of big business.
concept came to Mr Tew one night as he mulled over
how to get through university without amassing huge
all great ideas, it is simple. The homepage is divided
into 10,000 boxes, each made up of 100 pixels, or
tiny dots. Companies or individuals are invited to
buy one or more box for $US100 each - $1 a pixel -
and fill it with a logo. Visitors to the site who
click on a logo are taken to that company or individual's
Tew planned to try to sell the million pixels, earning
himself $US1 million, during his three years at university,
where he is studying business management.
the first few days he sold a few hundred pixels, mainly
to friends and relatives, but within weeks the site
was a huge talking point on the internet. A range
of businesses, from an international phone company
to small businesses offering dating services or computer
games, signed up.
companies which only signed up for a bit of fun have
been amazed at how many people have been directed
to their businesses from the site.
Tew was feted when he went on tour in the US, and
hundreds of imitation sites have sprung up. He is
now on course to reach his million dollar mark in
early January. He wrote in his blog yesterday that
the response to his idea had been overwhelming.
have gone absolutely ballistic!" he wrote. "There
has been a massive upsurge in interest and traffic
to the site as a result of one of the world's biggest
news agencies, Reuters, picking up the story about
now, as I type, 25,000 unique visitors are hitting
the site every single hour. That means a projected
600,000 unique visitors by the end of Friday. Wow!"
Mr Tew has not been tempted to fritter away his newly-acquired
fortune. His only luxury so far has been a new Mini.
"The site's success is a real testament to the
massive power of the internet," he said.
Sydney Morning Herald
million dollar website idea - 30th December 2005
Sydney Morning Herald Online