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How Selling Pixels May Yield a Million Bucks
Wall Street Journal ^ | 11/22/05 | Gwendolyn Bounds

Posted on 11/22/2005 6:52:32 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom

It was just a few months ago that 21-year-old Alex Tew of Great Britain was stumped about how to pay for college. He'd filled a notebook with ideas before jotting down this simple, if rather audacious, query to himself: How Can I Become a Millionaire?

In the annals of entrepreneurship, what followed is an instructional tale of how a brainstorm, coupled with the Internet's powerful word-of-mouth culture, can set a trend in motion with lightning speed. Mr. Tew says his strategy was to find an idea simple to understand and cheap to set up, with a catchy name that would garner attention online, where he gained experience from having free-lanced as a Web designer for a few years.

Ultimately, his solution amounted to making money via Internet advertising -- but with a twist. Instead of selling banner ads, text links or splashy videolike ads that fill a screen, Mr. Tew opted to hawk the simplest graphical denominator of a computer screen: the pixel. A pixel is a tiny dot of light and color, and each screen has tens of thousands of them.

Mr. Tew created a home page, www.milliondollarhomepage.com, where he divided the screen into 10,000 small squares of 100 pixels each. His plan: to sell the pixels for $1 a piece, with a minimum order of 100 pixels. In each space, buyers could put a graphical ad of their choosing that links to their own site when clicked on. The end result is a cluttered collage of ads in various shapes and colors all amassed on a single digital billboard. (Mr. Tew doesn't charge his advertisers anything when a visitor clicks on the ads.)

Image hosted by TinyPic.com

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ads; genious; geniustoo; internet; millionaire
You gotta had it to this young man -- this is pure genious. I've spent the last hour clicking on links on the page and discovered lots of interesting web hucksters I would have never found on my own.
1 posted on 11/22/2005 6:52:34 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Alex Tew of Great Britain was stumped about how to pay for college.

Hah! Now that he's a millionaire he can skip all that and retire!

2 posted on 11/22/2005 6:57:07 PM PST by JennysCool (Non-Y2K-Compliant)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
Working link..........

milliondollarhomepage.com

3 posted on 11/22/2005 6:57:17 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
One of the few to make money by filling a market NON-need.
4 posted on 11/22/2005 6:58:05 PM PST by SteveMcKing ("I was born a Democrat. I expect I'll be a Democrat the day I leave this earth." -Zell Miller '04)
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To: SteveMcKing
Well, great.

If I'm ever at a loss for an online poker party...

5 posted on 11/22/2005 7:02:38 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom


Hope you have a good firewall or anti-adware program.


6 posted on 11/22/2005 7:03:07 PM PST by Fido969 ("And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:32).)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

I went to his link when he started. It only had a few squares filled in then. I didn't think it would go very far. Little did I know.


7 posted on 11/22/2005 7:04:33 PM PST by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: JennysCool
From a purely aesthetic point of view, it does seem a little "busy."
8 posted on 11/22/2005 7:04:38 PM PST by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Good post....interesting story.


9 posted on 11/22/2005 7:07:24 PM PST by indcons (FReepmail indcons to join the "Military History" ping list)
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To: billorites

I think the pure ugliness of the page is somehow part of the attraction -- maybe the counter to beautiful web pages?


10 posted on 11/22/2005 7:12:40 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: Fido969

NAT Router + software firewall on computer + Macintosh. I hope that's enough layers of protection.


11 posted on 11/22/2005 7:14:46 PM PST by ProtectOurFreedom
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Good for this enterprising young man for finding an honest, creative way to make lots of money. I don't why anyone would want to visit this page voluntarily though, but apparently someone must.


12 posted on 11/22/2005 7:15:02 PM PST by Welsh Rabbit
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To: JennysCool

=== Alex Tew of Great Britain was stumped about how to pay for college. ===

"Hah! Now that he's a millionaire he can skip all that and retire!"

Great idea, but I don't think a million is going to make it.

1 million at 5% interest works out to $50K/year which is not going to keep him living too well. I suspect he is going to sell a few more of these. I wonder if he got a patent or copyright on it?


13 posted on 11/22/2005 7:15:44 PM PST by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
..anyone wanna buy my pet Rock? He's about 35,pretty good shape,still as active as he ever, little attention needed,just a dust off now and then.


Doogle
14 posted on 11/22/2005 7:17:40 PM PST by Doogle (USAF...7thAF ..4077th TFW...408th MMS..Ubon Thailand.."69",,Night Line Delivery..AMMO)
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To: billorites

I think the busy-ness is what makes it interesting. It demands a certain amount of creativity on the advertiser's part to get their ad within the interest of the viewer. I am thinking that there may be advertising strategies that work with this.

For example, a bullseye? A totally yellow square with a red dot in the middle? A cross? What would you put in a 10x10 spot to gather the most hits? What would be the minimum number of pixels to obtain the maximum hit rate/pixel?


15 posted on 11/22/2005 7:18:41 PM PST by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Mark me down as "damn it...why didnt I think of that?"


16 posted on 11/22/2005 7:18:52 PM PST by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Reminds me a little of the pet rock (I'm probably dating myself with that one). Hat's off to this bloke. Nice going.


17 posted on 11/22/2005 7:19:27 PM PST by RedCell
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To: JennysCool

He's going to have to make several millions if he wants to retire now.


18 posted on 11/22/2005 7:19:46 PM PST by billhilly (If you're lurking here from DU (Democrats unglued), I trust this post will make you sick.)
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To: billhilly
He's going to have to make several millions if he wants to retire now.

Probably...but I could use $643K right about now.

19 posted on 11/22/2005 7:21:35 PM PST by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
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To: Paloma_55

Well, I would hope that the price is per month or quarter or something. If it's a one-time price, that would be foolish. Otherwise, the money will keep rolling in for some time to come.


20 posted on 11/22/2005 7:25:19 PM PST by Tanniker Smith (By defiintion, we cannot have Consensus until you agree with me.)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom
I am totally jealous of the fact I didn't think of it.



21 posted on 11/22/2005 7:28:48 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: Tanniker Smith
Well, I would hope that the price is per month or quarter or something. If it's a one-time price, that would be foolish. Otherwise, the money will keep rolling in for some time to come.

Its a one time fee forever. And in his FAQ, its simply to pay off his student loan.

I agree, its foolish to not make it a reaccuring payment but then it would lose its luster after copycats try it.

He says he will run it for as long as he can for posterity. Good bargain for the advertiser. Freerepublic should buy a block. THere is already a liberal advertiser there.

22 posted on 11/22/2005 7:29:05 PM PST by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
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You can also check out:

http://www.millionquarterhomepage.com

http://www.millionpennyhomepage.com

And probably 50 other similar sites......
23 posted on 11/22/2005 7:30:14 PM PST by dadofgage
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To: JennysCool

It's almost as expensive as cheese.

24 posted on 11/22/2005 7:32:02 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: Doogle
anyone wanna buy my pet Rock?

Now there's an idea I wished I'd thought of. It's all in the marketing I guess.

25 posted on 11/22/2005 7:33:22 PM PST by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: hole_n_one; Jim Robinson


Thats almost worth it for Freerepublic... Jiiiiiim. ;)
26 posted on 11/22/2005 7:34:05 PM PST by smith288 (Peace at all cost makes for tyranny free of charge...)
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To: Doogle
>>>..anyone wanna buy my pet Rock?

If you ever want to go on vacation, you can board your pet rock at my pet rock kennel...
27 posted on 11/22/2005 7:37:26 PM PST by Keith in Iowa (I'm going to quit procrastinating - starting tomorrow.)
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To: Keith in Iowa

Hysterical!


28 posted on 11/22/2005 7:38:21 PM PST by hole_n_one
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To: smith288
Assuming that each pixel being utilized on the linked site was in fact purchased for $1.00, the owner has already made well over $500,000.00.
29 posted on 11/22/2005 7:52:08 PM PST by hole_n_one
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Actually this kid did very well, his idea is original and I find myself keep comming back to his site, not that anything draws me there, its just facinating that he is making $ on it....

Anyway, he got me thinking... So this January 1st 2006 I will be joining him and all the others like him. I will be revealing my new site and the persuit of the big bucks!

ps, polls show that I will be rich in 06!


30 posted on 11/22/2005 8:12:54 PM PST by VastRWCon
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To: sirchtruth

hey check out this link... I never heard back from you so I well.... got to thinking and will hopefully be rich in 06. anyway, check out this another topic about our boy wonder.


31 posted on 11/22/2005 8:16:42 PM PST by VastRWCon
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To: smith288

"Probably...but I could use $643K right about now."

I hear you, but I don't have as long to spend it as I used to.


32 posted on 11/22/2005 8:18:14 PM PST by billhilly (If you're lurking here from DU (Democrats unglued), I trust this post will make you sick.)
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To: Paloma_55

"$50K/year which is not going to keep him living too well."

If he can't live well on $50,000 a year, he's living in the wrong state.


33 posted on 11/22/2005 8:27:09 PM PST by Cedar
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

It looks like Pop Art a la Andy Warhol.

It's neat just to look at.


34 posted on 11/22/2005 9:15:00 PM PST by parisa
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To: hole_n_one

Har! Pretty cheesy!


35 posted on 11/22/2005 9:16:20 PM PST by JennysCool (Non-Y2K-Compliant)
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To: Paloma_55

I don't think I'd have any problem living on $50 K per year, and I'm right now pondering a promotion for the Golden Palace Casino in that regard: "We Gave Him $50,000 ... And He Lived On It ... For A YEAR!"


36 posted on 11/22/2005 9:21:45 PM PST by JennysCool (Non-Y2K-Compliant)
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To: ProtectOurFreedom

Where's Waldo?


37 posted on 11/23/2005 3:10:03 AM PST by ccmay
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To: JennysCool

As an older person who has purchased a base of necessary items including home, land, vehicles, etc... I could live on 50K a year. But when I was 23 and had nothing, I could not. A car costs around $20K, house payments a few thousand a month, utilities, etc. Besides, when you are 23, you want to go out, have fun, buy a boat, do things that cost money.

Still, the idea is good. He can either lease the pixels on a monthly basis, yearly, or start new sites.


38 posted on 11/23/2005 5:40:50 AM PST by Paloma_55 (Which part of "Common Sense" do you not understand???)
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