Everyone who saw it face palmed and thought “why didn’t I think of that?” Personally, I was shocked that it was so successful because I thought the initial concept was very weak. On reflection I came to the conclusion that it succeeded because:
1. It’s original
No-one had thought of it before. There were many imitators and they all failed because they were just trying to jump on the bandwagon and everyone saw through it.
2. It was backed by a publicity campaign
The first thing the creator did with his initial batch of funds was to hire a professional publicist. Once he had quickly conquered the european media he then went on to hire an even better and more connected publicist for the North American market.
Things would’ve turned out very differently had he had not done so. The publicists he employed tactfully leveraged the viral powers of the internet and traditional media to turn the concept into a media darling.
3. The concept worked
Thanks to the media onslaught traffic to the site soared and advertisers initially got great value. Through a carefully orchestrated publicity campaign the site was a viral smash and the fact that i’m talking about it nearly five years on shows what a landmark event its success was in internet history.
4. There was nothing to lose
It did not cost the founder a lot of time and effort to come up with and implement the campaign for the Million Dollar Homepage. Alex Tew was an 18 year old student living at home at the time. Had the Million Dollar Homepage failed he really didn’t have a lot to lose.
From experience I have found that the most ideal scenarios are ones with enormous upside versus tiny downsides. Find yourself in the opposite situation from the beginning and you have a tough road ahead. I know which situation I prefer to seek out and back.
Are you sitting on a potential Million Dollar Home Page? If so, give me a call as I may be able to assist you turn it into a viral smash.