I’m sure a lot of people by now have heard of The Million Dollar home page. For those of you who haven’t, it’s a simple idea from a university student, Alex Tew, which involves selling advertising space on his web site. “Hang on”, you say, “that doesn’t sound awfully original!”. This advertising is different though, instead of paying for a given slot on a rotating banner, which is how most online advertising still works, the advertisters instead get a given number of pixels on the screen to show off their wares. Space costs $1 per pixel, but must be purchased in 100 pixel blocks so effectively the minimum investment is actually $100.
When Chris first told me about the site, I laughed it off as another gimmick that might get five minutes of fame if it was lucky and then fade away into the distance. How wrong I was. Not only have papers as esteemed as the Guardian picked up the story, but Mr Tew is also being invited to appear on US television to talk about his idea. Already he has made over half a million dollars, and is no doubt raking in further cash from selling the story to the media. That’s a pretty serious amount of money for someone who is still at university, especially from such a simple idea that costs Tew virtually no time or effort now that he has three staff handling the site for him.
Damn I wish I’d thought of this first, but hats off to Alex for coming up with the idea.