Monday, May 08, 2006

Worth A Million

No one can earn a million dollars honestly.

William Jennings Bryan

Sure, things have changed in the decades since Bryan wrote that quote. One is inflation but if you take it at face value, money can be earned honestly. The only dishonesty is when people judge the value of what you earned without knowledge of what you actually do. Yes, there are people out there that see big companies and believe that they run themselves and that the man at the top is just there as a figurehead or rolls around in a bathtub full of $100 bills. As a free society, we are allowed to believe such things. But, I wonder... where the dishonesty is in a Web site that sells space ($1 per pixel, 1,000,000 pixels)?

The Million Dollar Homepage is such a place. One perception would be that it didn't cost him $1,000,000 so why is he charging that much for it? (Cost is always a good critique.) Another view would be that because the site states the value at $1 per pixel, is that the true value? Web site value is pretty immeasurable as we've seen with a net bubble burst several years back. But... the domain name, the perceived advertising space and the fact that I'm mentioning it here give it a higher value than it took to create. Yet, owner Alex Tew will not earn $1 million for the Web site. In fact, the space will lose value over time as he re-purchases his domain name and pays for Web hosting. He will make money in speaking engagements and book deals, though. But, I do wonder what the level of dishonesty in this business model would be?

1 comment:

LoraLoo said...

I can see all kinds of problems with what he's done there, but it boils down to this for me:

1. Word of mouth is going to get us to visit the site. I did, right from here. Any buzz it creates is a bonus for all those advertisers there who are counting on our curiosity.

2. As you mentioned, freedom. Freedom to charge whatever you like - and if someone is willing to pay it, then the gimmick is working.