The innovative idea of creating The Million Dollar Homepage crossed Alex Tew’s mind while he was still a student at the University of Nottingham; and needed money to fund his further education.
Name Alex Tew
Age at the time: 21 years
Originally from Wiltshire, England, Alex was looking for something that could get him quick money and prevent him from applying for an educational loan.
The Million Dollar Homepage is a web page which consists of a million pixels fixed in a 1000 × 1000 pixel gird. Alex sold the image-based links for $1 per pixel in 10 × 10 blocks. He offered people a minimum of 100 pixel block for $100; and these pixel blocks, while hovering the cursor, displayed tiny images that contained the title/slogan as well as the URL of the respective websites.
Alex launched his website on 26th of August and tried selling the pixels through the word of mouth. Three days later, one of the TV journalists of BBC noticed it and it instantly became an Internet Phenomenon. On 1 January 2006, Alex put up its final 1,000 pixels on eBay for auction; the bid closed on 11th of January paying him $38,100 that brought his total income to a staggering $1,037,100 in gross income.
It took Alex less than 5 months to become a millionaire and according to The Wall Street Journal his achievement initiated the new era of display advertising.