Inside money, markets, and Big Tech

This article was published on December 20, 2008


    Tew did it again: easy money with Bush bashing

    Tew did it again: easy money with Bush bashing
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    alextewRemember Alex Tew? The British entrepreneur who frustrated and inspired millions of people by getting rich with The Million Dollar Homepage? The then 21-year old student needed some money for his study and decided to sell pixels for 1 dollar each. He made 1,037,100 dollars.

    In December 2006, Tew gave it another shot with Pixelotto: a lottery where the winner who clicked the right advertisement would win 1 million dollars. The idea “failed“, but Tew still made 153,000 dollars out of it.

    These days, Tew is working on a humor start-up called PopJam. But every now and then, he can’t resist the temptation of creating a fun app.

    So when a shoe-throwing Iraqi journalist aims for Bush’s face, Tew sees an opportunity: “a stupid little flash game”. Just like some other games concering the same subject, Sockandawe.com attracted million of hits.

    Sock and Awe!

    That’s where Tew’s business instinct comes in. Instead of desperately trying to cope with the enormous crowds visiting the site, he puts the game up for sale on eBay.com. Guess how much money Tew got himself for Christmas? A sweet total of 7,818 dollars.

    “It was just a bit of fun, a bit of an experiment,” Tew told Reuters. “It’s actually turned out to be a useful fundraising exercise for our start-up, which is good given the present economic circumstances.”