Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Million Dollar Homepage

If you haven't gone to this site yet, do so (The Million Dollar Homepage). This guy is brilliant. To begin, he just graduated from high school and needed some serious cash for University. His story is as follows,

So I had this little idea the other day. I was trying to think of interesting ways to make some cash before going to Uni (which is in about a month's time) and somehow this crazy thought entered my head: I'll try and make a million dollars, by selling 1,000,000 pixels, for $1 each.

And so 'The Million Dollar Homepage' is born...

I thought, this could be something crazy enough to work! Because I think people like crazy/quirky ideas. If this captures people's imaginations and people check out the site, then the pixels on the homepage will have value - and people will buy them (to display their ads etc). That's the theory anyway. The way I see it though: I've got nothing to lose by trying. And I'm sure it'll be fun.

His homepage consists of a 1000 x 1000 square grid to sell tiny ads. Each square is 100 pixels for a total of 1 Million pixels (hence the name of his site). He sells each pixel for $1 but of course a pixel is so small that someone cannot buy just one pixel. The minimum is 100 pixels (equivalent to 1 square on the grid).

In less than one week, he had sold thousands of pixels. So I emailed Alex (the founder of the site) and asked him HOW? How did this site get so popular in such a short amount of time? He simply responded with, "by word of mouth". And it makes sense! This site is so unique and people get curious that the word spreads. Look at me right now. I'm so blown away with the entire concept that I'm writing about it now. This guy made a simple site that probably took a few days and $0 to build, and has generated almost $400,000. Newspapers heard about the site in no time, which helped the site to gain a much larger audience (links to new articles related to his site are posted on his page.

My next question is WHY? Why are people going to keep coming back to his site? There is nothing there but a large amount of ads. The answer is simple, curiosity. Like me, many people keep going back to the site to see how he's progressing. He has two counters on his homepage. One that keeps track how many pixels he's sold, and the other that indicates how many pixels are remaining. Another reason why I continue to visit his site is to read his blog. I like to read what exactly he does from time to time...

In order to be successful yourself, you must watch and learn from others that are successful.