Entry No: 51
Million dollar ideas.
We're still fresh from the hype surrounding MillionDollarHomepage.com, and if you don't know about it you'd want to get out from under that rock
Pretty shortly, people will be looking for the "next big thing" online and I'll be damned if I know what it is. I think the most important factor in the success of MDHP was its pure simplicity. Retrospectively, anyone can point to reasons why the site was so popular, so I'd be doing nothing different in writing about that.
What I'm more interested in is just how different that "next thing" I mentioned will be. The original concept of MDHP has now been replicated hundreds of times all over the web by people attempting to hop on the frenzy surrounding the original site. Doubtless some of these will make a bit of money off the back of MDHP, but none of them will be nearly as successful and eventual saturation is inevitable.
There are a few key aspects of web phenomena over recent years;
2. Virally Marketed
It's a bit of a cop-out to attribute the success of any endeavour to luck, but it is reasonably accurate in most cases. Whether it is the right person stumbling across the soon-to-be phenomena or just being the right time for the idea.
The thing is, online you can influence this "luck" to a certain extent. Search Engine Optimization is quite generally useful; making it that bit more likely that your idea will be picked up by people.
Viral marketing is a powerful way of something becoming well known, and has become very important online. There are various ways in which viral marketing is employed (Google's Gmail service, for example) but for the single person, simple quality of content is the most important factor. Essentially, being original will beget viral marketing, word of mouth advertising.
The next big thing will be nothing like MDHP, but it will be a product of the current web environment, the social structure.
In the end, it seems that the most successfull ideas are those which make you say to yourself, "that's stupidly simple... why didn't I think of that?".
Think stupid, but stop thinking about the Million Dollar Homepage