Saturday, 6 December 2008

You have a million dollar idea but how to avoid an invention company scam?

Ok, you have your million dollar idea and you want to avoid an invention company scam. Look at the following tips how to do it.

1. Ask for their success rate: Ask for in writing the number of ideas they have represented and how many inventors made more money than they invested.
2. Ask for references: Ask for the names of three satisfied customers that you can talk to.
3. Avoid too much pressure: Are their sales people calling you often? Are you hearing, "Let's do it now/asap."
4. Are they sending you pre-signed confidentiality agreements in their "free kits": No, you sign agreements after you decide you want to use them or anyone else (but before discussion of any ideas).
5. Have they asked you to write your ideas down and mail them to yourself? That is not protection.
6. Early in your discussions, ask what the total cost of services will be. Any hesitation to answer is a bad sign.
7. Market evaluations provide an objective evaluation of the merit, technical feasibility, and commercial viability of your invention. Ask for their criteria, system of review, and the qualifications of company evaluators.
8. Do they check on pre-existing patents for your same idea. Bad companies will promote almost any idea, without knowing if there is patent infringement involved.
9. Do their "patent searches" come without a written opinion of patentability? Do they refuse to provide in writing the number of favorable patent searches vs unfavorable searches. You will want both.
10. Do they recommend that a design patent be applied for? Only a minority of inventions should fall in this category. Also watch out if they offer a "money back guarantee" if the patent does not issue.
11. If they claim to have a special relationship with a manufacturer, ask for proof. Watch out, if they ask you to submit your idea to a manufacturer before you have a patent.
12. Avoid a jack-of-all-trades. They send a "free kit" or in reality more advertising, then sell you a market evaluation package, and later a patent, marketing and licensing package. No one is an expert in all those fields.
13. Watch out for addresses that don't match, they claim to be in one state but the mailing address is different. Ditto for no direct phone contact, are you always reaching their voicemail?
14. Ask all the above questions and be on triple alert if your are responding to a slick TV, radio and magazine ad. Yes, the real guys have to advertise too, so know what to look out for.
15. Investigate the good guys too. Even if none of the above apply, call your local Better Business Bureau, check with the FTC and the bad guys listings under "Invention Company Scams".

How to You Make Money With Your Million Dollar Idea

So, you've had an idea for an invention or an innovative way of doing something that will boost productivity, put more people to work, and make lots of money for you and anyone who backs you? As you've probably heard, you're the kind of person your country needs to compete in world markets and maintain its standard of living. You're the cutting edge of the future.

You are another of those individuals on whom progress has always depended. We all know that it hasn't been huge corporations that have come up with the inventions that have revolutionized life. As the discoverer of penicillin, Sir Alexander Flemming, said, "It is the lone worker who makes the first advance in a subject: The details may be worked out by a team, but the prime idea is due to the enterprise, thought and perception of an individual." Innovators like you are business' lifeblood.

Owner-managers who have started companies on new ideas know first hand about the innovation process. They also know that you can expect to hear.

In the first place, the chances that you are the first to come up with a particular innovation are somewhere between slim and none. Secondly, even if you have come up with the better mousetrap, nobody — but nobody — is going to beat a path to your door. In fact, in the course of trying to peddle your better mousetrap, you'll beat up plenty of shoe leather wearing paths to other people's doors. You'll stand a good chance of wearing out your patience and several dozen crying towels as well.

Why is it so hard to find backers for your brain children? One consultant put it: "Nobody wants unproven ideas. Nobody wants to be first. Everybody wants to be second." Why this fear of the new?

Well, new product failure rates are estimated conservatively to be between 50% and 80%. One survey of major companies with millions of dollars to spend on R&D, market research, and product advertising, and with well-established distribution systems found that of 58 internal proposals only 12 made it past initial screening. From these 12 only one successful new product emerged.

Another group set up to help innovators has found that of every 100 ideas submitted 85 have too many faults to bother with. They can be eliminated immediately. Of the remaining 15, maybe five will ever be produced. One of those might — only might — make money.

With odds like 99 to 1 against an idea being a monetary success, is it any surprise that your idea is greeted with a chorus of yawns? People — companies, investors, what have you — are basically conservative with their money. Ideas are risky.

Does that mean you should forget about your idea? Of course not. It merely means that now you're beginning to see what Edison meant, when he said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

Again, those of you who own small firms started on innovations are well aware of the truth of Edison's words. You've been through the hard work.

In the first place, the chances that you are the first to come up with a particular innovation are somewhere between slim and none. Secondly, even if you have come up with the better mousetrap, nobody — but nobody — is going to beat a path to your door. In fact, in the course of trying to peddle your better mousetrap, you'll beat up plenty of shoe leather wearing paths to other people's doors. You'll stand a good chance of wearing out your patience and several dozen crying towels as well.

Why is it so hard to find backers for your brain children? One consultant put it: "Nobody wants unproven ideas. Nobody wants to be first. Everybody wants to be second." Why this fear of the new?

Well, new product failure rates are estimated conservatively to be between 50% and 80%. One survey of major companies with millions of dollars to spend on R&D, market research, and product advertising, and with well-established distribution systems found that of 58 internal proposals only 12 made it past initial screening. From these 12 only one successful new product emerged.

Another group set up to help innovators has found that of every 100 ideas submitted 85 have too many faults to bother with. They can be eliminated immediately. Of the remaining 15, maybe five will ever be produced. One of those might — only might — make money.

With odds like 99 to 1 against an idea being a monetary success, is it any surprise that your idea is greeted with a chorus of yawns? People — companies, investors, what have you — are basically conservative with their money. Ideas are risky.

Does that mean you should forget about your idea? Of course not. It merely means that now you're beginning to see what Edison meant, when he said, "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."

Again, those of you who own small firms started on innovations are well aware of the truth of Edison's words. You've been through the hard work.

Will Your Million Dollar Idea Make Money? Here is where the risk arises that makes it so difficult to interest people in backing your idea.

It's a question that's really impossible to answer with any assurance. After all, major corporations even with massive market studies hit clinkers all the time. Remember the Edsel? On the other hand, an idea so seemingly stupid that you'd think it was somebody's idea of a silly joke might make millions. Don't you wish you'd thought of the pet rock?

So many factors need to be considered to answer this question. Is there a market? Where is it? Is it concentrated or dispersed? Could the size of the market change suddenly? Will competition drive you out? These questions are by no means the bottom of the iceberg. Yet, answering the money question to the satisfaction of potential backers is the key to the other questions.

Accoring to CanadaBusiness

Sunday, 5 October 2008

The downside of a million dollar idea

Million dollar ideas can have drawbacks. When information is freely shared, good ideas can stunt innovation by distracting others from pursuing even better ideas, according to Indiana University cognitive scientist Robert Goldstone.

"How do you structure your community so you get the best solution out of the group?" Goldstone said. "It turns out not to be effective if different inventors and labs see exactly what everyone else is doing because of the human tendency to glom onto the current 'best' solution."

Goldstone's findings were published this month in the January/February issue of the journal "Current Directions in Psychological Science." Michael E. Roberts, a doctoral student in the Cognitive Science Program, and Todd M. Gureckis, assistant professor of psychology at New York University, are co-authors of the article "Emergent Processes in Group Behavior."

Goldstone's research examines and charts group behavior and the patterns in which people unknowingly participate -- much like ants creating colony structures about which they are clueless.

This study used a virtual environment in which study participants worked in specifically designed groups to solve a problem. Participants guessed numbers between 1 and 100, with each number having a hidden value. The goal was for individuals to accumulate the highest score through several rounds of guessing. Across different conditions, the relationship between guesses and scores could either be simple or complex. The participants saw the results of their own guesses and some or all of the guesses of the others in their group.

In the "fully connected" group, everyone's work was completely accessible to everyone else -- much like a tight-knit family or small town. In the "locally connected" group, participants primarily were aware of what their neighbors, or the people on either side, were doing. In the "small world" group, participants also were primarily aware of what their neighbors were doing, but they also had a few distant connections that let them send or retrieve good ideas from outside of their neighborhood.

Goldstone found that the fully connected groups performed the best when solving simple problems. Small world groups, however, performed better on more difficult problems. For these problems, the truism "The more information, the better" is not valid.

"The small world network preserves diversity," Goldstone said. "One clique could be coming up with one answer, another clique could be coming up with another. As a result, the group as a whole is searching the problem space more effectively. For hard problems, connecting people by small world networks offers a good compromise between having members explore a variety of innovations, while still quickly disseminating promising innovations throughout the group.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Your Cat is Millionaire!

One of the readers has just sent funny news from Denver.

Producers of the Meow Mix Game Show will be in Denver over the weekend
looking for cat-testants to appear on game show that producers say will test how
well people can think like their cat.

The audition processes includes a quiz on general feline knowledge as
well as a Hollywood style screen test to see how well cat and human appear on

The cats and humans will compete as a team against contestants from
other cities for a chance to $1 million plus, $100,000 for a local animal

The 30-minute program will air on the Game Show Network on Nov. 15.

Well, your cat can be a millionaire too!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Easy Tips To Capture Your Million Dollar Idea

My work requires me to interact with many types of people. And, during the course of my meeting them I have come up with three categories of people so far, based on my observations on how people manage their work:

  1. People who rely one-hundred-percent on their memory. These people remember each and every detail of what has been discussed.
  1. People who do not rely on their memory, and always carry a small notebook with them. Such people are meticulous, highly efficient, steadfast, and always well-organized.
  1. People who rely one-hundred-percent on their memory, but do not have the capability to afterwards remember the details of the discussion. This reduces their productivity.

Writing things down helps in collecting and organizing your thoughts. Your thoughts seem more concrete when you can see them in front of you. I like thinking on paper, because it forces me to be specific with my thoughts. Plus, I have my thinking process written down so that I have a way of recollecting my thoughts.

I also find that writing my ideas down tend to lighten my mental load. Once written down, I can let that thought bubble burst. By letting one thought subside, I can easily move on to another with a blank slate.

I own several idea notebooks to keep track of spontaneous ideas. I prefer the small spiral bound books that fits in your hands. They are easy to fit in a purse or pocket, which means I am more likely to carry it with me. I get mine from Target for $1.29, they have a hardcover with a snap closure. I have them sprinkled around the house and inside every bag I own, so that I’ll always have something to dump my thoughts on.

Ever since I’ve adopted to writing everything down, not a thought is lost. This also makes linking ideas easy when I need to do creative brainstorming.

Thx to Think Simple. Be Decisive

Sunday, 14 September 2008

5 ways to profit from million dollar ideas

Here are 5 ways to profit from the million dollar ideas.

  1. Assume your idea is terrible. Assuming an idea is terrible can be quite liberating. This is not the same as not believing in what you are doing and it is not about being negative. On the contrary, it is about changing the frame of reference to give due consideration to the real operating conditions. Consider the advantage of having accurate maps and a compass to navigate from one place to another rather than a ball of string and a vague idea. Having an accurate understanding of the conditions has its advantages. It prevents people and companies from squandering resources on dead ends or irrelevant excursions. Anyone moving forward who is positive, highly motivated and well equipped with accurate, relevant information and sound plans becomes virtually unstoppable. Eliminating the tendency to rely on untested assumptions can be done by simply assuming a product or idea is a terrible one and then taking steps toward making it better.
  2. Know your customer, industry and business well enough to publish a book. Writing is a process that distills thought. Corporate innovators are often asked to prepare detailed plans. Companies employ a variety of planning tools and they can be tremendous aids in working through the necessary thought processes. Everyone seeking funding who has approached professional finance people to get a project financed is aware that he or she is expected to come with a written business plan. The thought process that goes into the writing is more important than the document itself.
  3. Steal from others and let others steal from you. Copy, copy, copy. Originality is overrated. The advantages of duplication over originality are numerous. Something that has already become tried and true is just that: tried and true. That decreases the risk and uncertainty considerably. Duplicating something is less costly than producing an original. Something that has been in use has likely had a lot of the bugs knocked out of it and has already become perceived as useful and acceptable. For manufactured products, it is almost always less risky, faster, cheaper and easier to incorporate an existing part already in production than to design and make an original.
  4. Create a powerful network of outside advisors. The importance and value of having a powerful network of outside advisors cannot be overstated. Famous inventor Thomas Edison surrounded himself with the most powerful people in the world. He needed a great deal of help to develop his grand visions so he went to whatever lengths were needed to get that help. As an example of an Edison gathering, he had United States President Herbert Hoover, Henry Ford and Harvey Firestone at his 82nd birthday party in Fort Myers, Florida on February 11, 1929. Successful people are usually more than happy to share constructive insights and where appropriate will exercise candor if something seems off.
  5. Involve and embrace passionate customers in the development and marketing processes. For most types of innovations, there are ways to actively engage end embrace passionate leading customers in the development and marketing processes. This can happen at an early stage or long after a product or service has matured. Bringing customers in close can be a tremendous aid to the innovation process. Innovators would be remiss if they did not consider this approach.
The above 5 ways are intended for those who are interested in achieving commercial success and maximizing profits from their million dollar ideas.

Based on lifehack ideas

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Million Dollar Idea - Online Videos Can Make You Rich

More and more data go speeding along the information superhighway every day. Only trouble is, the roads in the U.S. are too narrow, and they're getting clogged. Unless carrying capacity increases rapidly, Internet users will experience more and more traffic jams in the form of slower service.

So capital spending is going to have to ramp up. And no two companies should benefit more than Corning, the leading maker of optical fiber that carries data, and Cisco, the top manufacturer of switching systems that direct how all the packets of information get to their destination.

The U.S. led the development of the Internet, but during the past decade it has fallen behind other countries. Canada, France, Japan and the U.K. are all better connected, according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, based on speed, price and availability of service.
In fact, the U.S. is rated a dismal 15th. That's untenable. Traffic per person is several times as heavy in some other parts of the world.

There are several reasons America is so far back in the pack. Smaller countries such as South Korea and Finland have an easier time reaching the vast majority of domestic consumers.
And ironically, the U.S. suffers because of its earlier leadership. Countries that adopt a technology later often get to invest in more modern and less expensive systems after the bugs have been worked out.
Another reason the U.S. trails: the long hangover that followed the tech wreck. Companies overinvested in telecom during the boom of the late 1990s. When that bubble burst, there was lots of excess capacity that wasn't fully employed for at least five years. By the time all the old gear and wiring were fully in use, networks had become outdated. So the U.S. is going to have to build additional networks and upgrade existing ones.

More video, more bandwidth

There's a reason capacity is being eaten up: the availability of audio and video Web programming and the growing appetite for it. Audio files use roughly five times as much bandwidth as text, and video can require 45 times as much, says Robert Shapiro, author of "Futurecast" and chairman of Sonecon, a consulting firm that has done extensive research on the Internet.

And there's more driving this demand than YouTube. Online television watching is going mainstream. The major broadcast networks have all set up sites that offer streaming video on demand for many popular shows. And online HDTV, as well as technologies yet to come, will require far more capacity.

Sooner or later, the need for greater bandwidth will spark a construction boom. "Over the next 20 years, capital spending on Internet infrastructure in the U.S. could be 50% to 100% more than is anticipated today," says Shapiro.
A broad range of companies will benefit, and new competitors will doubtless enter the field. But established leaders such as Corning and Cisco should reap much of the gains. Annual earnings growth for both stocks is projected to average 14% or more over the next five years. And though results may be subpar for the next few quarters, they should pick up robustly before the end of 2009.

Bargains that won't last

Corning (GLW, Fortune 500) and Cisco (CSCO, Fortune 500) have had big runs at various points in the past three years, but their share prices have slumped recently. So despite stellar prospects and little debt, both stocks now trade at less than 17 times earnings.
That's a reflection of today's poor economic prospects, as well as the fact that large growth stocks remain undervalued compared with the shares of slower-growing but steadier companies. If you're a long-term investor, this situation represents a perfect buying opportunity.

Corning has three major businesses that offer high potential growth. The most dynamic at the moment is liquid crystal displays. Sales for that division rose 58% in the most recent quarter.

Corning's optical-fiber business isn't nearly as robust now, but that will change as Internet capital spending ramps up. The third important division makes high-tech emission-control systems, especially for trucks. This business is growing at double-digit rates and could pick up further as concern for the environment intensifies.
Cisco, of course, is the world leader in Internet equipment, particularly the switches and routers that direct the flow of information. Cisco's share price has fallen 24% from its 2007 high on recession fears, even though the company is posting double-digit gains in sales and earnings.

Cisco has also steadily bought back stock: It has repurchased more than $52 billion over the past seven years. That gives shareholders great potential for capital gains as more and more people use computers to watch 30 Rock and Lost on their own schedules and clog up the Internet in the process


Monday, 1 September 2008

Top 10 Tips from a High School Drop Out Millionaire

Christine Comaford-Lynch – once a high school drop-out, teenage runaway, Buddhist monk, lingerie model, geisha trainee, software engineer and hospice worker. I met Christine 2 weeks ago at a women conference in Berkeley.

Christine became an entrepreneur at age 27. She was 5 times CEO averaged about 700% returns on investment. She invested in over 200 companies as a venture capitalist and angel investor, including Google and many successful companies. She consulted to over 700 of Fortune 1000 companies. She was the advisor to the White House for the Clinton & Bush administration. She is a business accelerator and advisors for many companies. She was successfully retired at 40. Christine recently founded Mighty Venture to help people to discover both their personal and business potential in a fun and effective way that fosters connection and community.

Here are some lessons that I learnt from Christine’s panel discussions:

  1. Slow Down – Don’t try to do everything at once in 95 miles per hour speed. Multi-tasking is great, but it is very difficult to be excellent in every single areas of your life. Focus on one thing at a time. Your heart, your voice and vision all need to be focused.
  2. Perseverance – Don’t give up. There is no get rich quick scheme.
  3. Change Fast – When things go wrong, don’t dwell on it. Move on and change your strategy and direction fast.
  4. Take Risk – No Risk No Gain
  5. Stretch / Growth – If you are not growing, you are dying. Always stretch yourself to learn new things.
  6. Never a problem – Everything has a solution. Don’t think you only have problems, find solutions
  7. Choose the right partners – Fire them if you need to.
  8. Self Identify – Everything is an illusion. Pick the one that is fun. Choose your own identity. Don’t let investors to set your values for you.
  9. Build Emotion Equity – When approaching investors or buyers, help them and build emotional equity with them. Make sure they want your venture to succeed as much as you do.
  10. Life = the people you meet + what you create together. Build the connection and community with everyone around you.
Thx to Youngster Inc

How to Become a Millionaire Next Door. The Real Story

Paul Navone is one of those quiet millionaires next door. His friends had no idea he had money until he started giving it away -- $1 million to a college and another $1 million to a prep school. The 78-year-old retiree never made more than $11 an hour while working in the New Jersey mills, according to a story by Joe Logan in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and to this day Navone buys his clothing at thrift stores, and doesn't have a TV or a phone.

Navone, the son of Italian immigrants, quit school and went to work at age 16. He lived at home and saved. After two years in the Army, he bought the first of several rental properties. He lived off that income, saved his wages and turned to investing, the Inquirer story says. "Paul has always been the perfect client. He gave me money and never took it out," said broker R. Douglas Smithson, senior vice president for investments at Wachovia Securities in Vineland. "He took my advice, he stuck to a plan, and he reaped the benefits of it."

Navone, who lives in a small house in Millville, said, "My motto back then without realizing it -- and it is now -- is that I'll work for the money, and then I want the money to work for me."

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

How to Not Go Broke on Your Million Dollar Idea

Before you bet the bank on your next million dollar idea, you should do a reality check to see if the idea is worth it. People often fall in love with their ideas and as a result can experience tremendous pain if it turns out the idea is a bad one.

Developing ideas into commercial successes is generally difficult work since there are many steps involved and the odds of success are not very high. You need to approach this with a process orientation and come at it with sufficient leadership skills and abilities to carry it though. Thinking in terms of getting rich on a one shot idea or expecting someone else to take the leadership initiative while you sit back and wait for a million dollar check to come in the mail will not work. That is something that people with inventoritis do. They almost always meet with poverty and its close companion – misery. On the other hand, people with good leadership abilities and skills who are teachable and follow sound marketing processes have a much greater chance of enjoying positive financial and career-enhancing experiences. Persistence counts and people who can pull this off tend to do so repeatedly. Famous American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was a master of developing ideas into commercial successes and died a rich and powerful man after a long prolific life. He cranked out over 1000 patented ideas, many of which were commercially successful.

We have prepared a list of questions you can use as a way to perform a reality check on your idea. It is intended to help you determine whether or not you actually have an idea that is worth something. If you are in a company, you want to know whether this is a career builder or a sure fire way to have the security people escort you from the property and demagnetize your company identification card. No lunch, no watch. If you are an inventor or entrepreneur looking for the million dollar check, you want to know this too so that you or your spouse does not end up having to take a part time job at Wal-Mart to help cover the losses. Anyone with inventoritis should make special note of the following 10 questions that will help you determine if your idea is worth pursuing:

1. Can you explain your idea to someone within 5 minutes using no more than a single sheet of paper and a crayon as visual aids?
2. Can you define your marketing strategy in 5 words or less?
3. Do you know your 6 best potential customers twice as well as they know themselves?
4. If someone stole your idea today, would you be willing to proceed anyway?
5. Are you willing to proceed if it costs twice as much and takes three times as long as your presumably reasonable estimates suggest?
6. Are you willing to sell it door to door if required?
7. Is your idea media worthy? – Have you asked?
8. Do you have a network of credible and qualified advisors who can help you through the process and to help assess things at various stages of the process?
9. If it fails, can you afford the losses?
10. Do you believe any of the following statements?

“The idea will sell itself.”
“Everyone will need this.”
“There is no competition.”
“I don’t have a problem letting go.”
“No one can copy it.”
“No one has thought of this.”
“The marketing is no big deal.”
“‘Insert big company name’ will pay millions for this.”
“It’s not about the money.”

If you do believe any of the above statements derived from a list of common lies told by inventors who are the best known group of people trying to turn ideas into money, you likely have inventoritis. If you have inventoritis then stop right now. Do not bug your boss. Do not go to the bank, family or friends to borrow any money. Get the condition treated first or you will fail.

Assuming your idea passes the above reality check, then before launching into a whole bunch of expensive technical work into turning the idea into reality, do more up front marketing work. If the idea is for a product, find an inexpensive way to prepare some samples or mock-ups then conduct further customer prospect interviews, focus group sessions, surveys, test marketing trials and so on while observing customer behavior and developing the business case for your idea. As the business case develops, apply reasonable resources in a reasonable way toward developing the market in a profitable way. Do this whether you are selling the idea to a single customer for a simple check or moving toward a full blown multi-million dollar product launch. The process should be roughly the same.

If your idea fails these above tests, then move on knowing you haven’t bet the bank, risked your job prematurely or unduly stressed your personal relationships. This is not the same thing as giving up on your ideas. It is much better to kill something that doesn’t make sense than to have it kill you.

Friday, 22 August 2008

The Simple Truth About Million Dollar Business Ideas

When we hear of million dollar business ideas, we often hear of the proverbial light bulb over the head or eureka moment as the catalyst to creativity. Scientists have recently mapped the part of the brain where the "Aha" effect takes place. In less than .3 milliseconds, the intensified neural activity triggers the proverbial light bulb.

However, million dollar ideas aren't the stuff of MBA problem solving. Science knows the creative spark is a separate cognitive process from the day-to-day mundane problem solving skills used in business. The brain is searching more for a pattern or solving a puzzle as opposed to linear thinking that often accompanies the problem solving nature of business.

Contrary to popular myth, the breakthrough idea is not a single eureka event but more a series of known events happening before and after the big "Aha." These events occur as follows: the receptive or preparation stage, the incubation stage, the "Aha" effect, and the verification stage.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Top 10 Advices How to Become a Millionaire

Here's a simple list of the top 10 advices how to become a millionaire

1. Keep your eyes peeled for better ways to do your job.
2. Don't be afraid to negotiate.
3. Get your ducks in a row and your numbers on paper.
4. Plot your strategy when it's time to move on
5. Flex your tax-saving muscle
6. Review your tax withholding
7. Don't delay
8. Invest automatically
9. Watch for fund fees
10.Keep it simple.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 6 - Capitalize on your success

Capitalize on your success.

Did you know that the final 1000 pixels were sold off through an ebay auction for $38,100? That is a 3810% markup from the original stated price! That pushed the profits well beyond a million dollars. Alex knew when to capitalize. Also, have you heard of his new venture? The million dollar pixel lotto? Well, with so many copy cats out there, you would think it’s impossible to repeat this feat right? Well, not if you are Alex. If you are Alex, you think how you can capitalize on the buzz you have generated, on the hype you already have. How to strike while the iron is hot? So you double the price per pixel and offer a million dollar prize to those who click on the ads. Now you have people who want to click on the ads for the million dollar jackpot, and the advertisers are thrilled that there is more than just the hype that motivates people to click their ads. In the roughly 1.5 months that the pixel lotto was up, Alex has already sold $300K worth of ads! It’s incredible!

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 5 - Market it

Market it.

That brings us to the next lesson, market it. See how to spin it so that you can get others as charged up about it as you are. The great thing about this idea is it was one of a kind when it was started (Now there must be a gazillion copycats!). So by hyping it Alex could generate the buzz traffic to his site. He then used the buzz traffic to get some people to buy the ads. This generated more buzz, since the idea that could possibly not work was working! So, more people flocked to his site to check it out. This made more people want to advertise there, hoping to direct a piece of that traffic to their site. And the rest is history. Alex also used other tricks. He appealed to the customer’s emotions while marketing by using statements like "own a piece of internet history" and to the customer’s sense of value-for-money with statements like "The site will be online for 5 years guaranteed, however the aim is to keep the site online forever (or as long as humanly possible)". If you have an outside-the-box idea, then to make it successful you need to have outside-the-box marketing too!

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 4 - Think Big

Think Big.

How much does it take to really pay for three years of business school? You bet it isn’t 1 million dollars. But Alex went for the 1 million. Why? Because once you have an idea, and a passion to drive it, you might as well go all out. Reach for the stars. Don’t settle for less. Don’t short sell yourself. And of course, in Alex’s own words "I knew the site had to be 'The Million Dollar Homepage' in order to catch people's attention - anything else just wouldn't cut it, eg. '$100,000 Homepage'. Er... no."

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 3 - If you want to succeed, you need passion

If you want to succeed, you need passion

Once Alex Tew decided to run with his idea, he ran all the way. There were people who thought it was a joke, and there were people who called him a silly goose. But he ran with his idea no matter what. He believed in his idea and did not let anyone tell him otherwise. He marketed himself on radio and he sent press releases to local news papers. He risked making a very public ass out of himself by standing for his idea, no matter how silly it is, and pushing it. Its easy to hail him as an "entrepreneur" now that we know he is successful, but can you imagine what it must have been like in the early days? To make an idea successful, you need passion!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 2 - Implement your idea

Ok, so you have an idea. If you want it to go from just an idea in your head to THE million dollar idea everyone is talking about, you have to implement it first. If it is a huge success like the MDH, great! If it’s a modest success, that’s good too. Heck, even if it’s a total failure, you still learn from it. It will be great experience to help you in the future endeavors!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Million Dollar Ideas: Lesson 1 - No idea is too silly

No idea is too silly

Who would have thought that someone could make money by selling ads on a website that had nothing but ads on it??!! When phrased that way, can you see how silly that sounds? But if one thing this success story teaches us, it is that no idea is too silly. Now some ideas click and some don’t, but don’t ever give up because someone else tells you your idea is too silly.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

MIllion Dollar Idea Right Here

Here’s your million dollars right here: it’s called Splittr (or perhaps something else, but let’s just say).

The Creative Commons by-nc license is great for non-commercial collaboration - tag your content with this license and you indicate to everyone that you’re happy for other people to use it in derivative works as long as it’s non-commercial and as long as they credit you. You’re both protected (maybe: some would argue this) by the boilerplate legalese that license represents. Creativity is lubricated, stuff gets made, everybody’s happy.

But what about the commercial end of things? How do you sell that stuff? For instance, let’s just say a guy named Spiff makes a bunch of music videos using my music. Then maybe Spiff and I want to put those videos on Revver and share in the profits. Or maybe I want to invite fans to create T-shirt designs that I then sell on CafePress, giving them a cut. Or maybe Len wants to create and sell a JoCo coloring book on Lulu. All this stuff is possible (and some of it has happened), but there’s too much friction - the creators involved need to agree on a split and handle all the accounting, paypal-ing money around as it comes in. Sometimes there’s a legal document involved that comes from the Revver or the Lulu or the CafePress, but it’s usually not made for content that has multiple owners. And to be safe and smart, the collaborators might want to be protected by some kind of legalese as well, maybe codify their collaborative relationship so they can enter into these kinds of agreements.

This is where Splittr comes in. Spiff and I both sign up and create individual profiles, to which we can upload CC-licensed content. If we create some CC-licensed collaboration that we’d like to sell, we then use Splittr to create a JocoSpiff entity, a little micro-partnership that just applies to this specific content. We can then sign up (and enter into agreements) with Revver as JocoSpiff. Big bucks flow into the JocoSpiff account and Splittr distributes those moneys to Spiff and Joco (keeping a cut). Other sites that want to use this content in a commercial way can find and contact us through Splittr, make us an offer, and Spiff and I can opt-in if we like. Now the commercial side of all this Creative Commons content is just as lubricated as the non-commercial side. Stuff gets made, MONEY gets made, everybody’s happy.

This already exists, right? Someone’s working on this?

Jonathan Coulton

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Major Formats to Create Million Dollar Idea

There are 3 major formats you can use to create million dollar idea:

1. Find something that already exists, the presence of which has never been known before.

2. Invent something. Most inventions are merely new arrangements of things that have already been invented.

3. Alter or improve in any number of different ways something that already exists.

As you "Create" ideas, write them down. What you dream up can be your key to great wealth. Keep your mind "open" as you go through each day. What did you notice in the department store that would reduce costs, save money or increase sales if some simple procedure were added or something changed?

Ideas for improvements are one of the most valuable things you can contribute to society and at the same time add to your bank account. To create ideas for improvements, consider every possibility and alternative for the thing you want to improve.

Learn to create ideas by evaluating all the different aspects of the product, method or concept you are interested in. Put your imagination and subconscious to work and write down your thoughts pertaining to each of the things you expect to improve

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

First-million story #9 - Be in love with your idea

In 1980, when the younger of her two daughters started kindergarten, Doris Christopher "started feeling this urge to get back to work." But not just any work. "I wanted to do something meaningful that had responsibility attached to it."

After months of deliberation, Christopher came up with a concept that accomplished her aim, and eventually put her at the helm of a $700-million business. She founded the Pampered Chef, a Chicago-area company with a sales force of 70,000 "kitchen consultants," who sell kitchen tools to guests during in-home demonstrations. Her company went big-time when it was sold to the Berkshire Hathaway investment group (Christopher remains as chairman), but she cooked up the idea around her kitchen table.

Christopher, a former home-economics teacher, loved cooking and teaching, but was wary of the demands of a full-time job. While brainstorming ideas with her husband, Jay, she noticed that friends often didn't have the small kitchen tools that she considered essential. "When people were in my kitchen, they'd ask, 'Where did you get this? Can you get one for me?' That was the notion that finally clicked."

Selling kitchen tools suited Christopher's background and her desire for flexibility, but her husband's entrepreneurial experience was critical. "My husband had the idea that you could try something and it might work, or it might not," says Christopher. "That was very helpful."

Borrowing $3,000 against a life-insurance policy, Christopher prowled the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, picking up good-quality kitchen tools at wholesale prices. At her first home show, in October 1980, she sold $175 worth of vegetable peelers, kitchen shears and other gadgets. By year's end, she had grossed about $7,000.

The business grew slowly. Says Christopher: "You have to be in love with your idea because you're going to spend a lot of time with it." It wasn't until 1987 that the Pampered Chef surpassed $1 million in annual sales. But "I was as busy as I wanted to be, and I was successful."

TIP #9: Enjoy what you're doing. Doris Christopher's affinity for cooking led her to found the Pampered Chef, a purveyor of kitchen tools.

Friday, 20 June 2008

First-million story #8 - Take desperate measures

A year and a half ago, Chip and Kim McAllister of Coto de Caza, Calif., were paddling furiously to stay afloat in their real-world version of "Survivor." Their company, an information-technology firm, had just gone bust, victim of a bad business partnership. Their house was in foreclosure. They had two kids at home and no jobs.

"In desperate times, you need to take desperate measures," says Chip, who came up with the idea of vying for a spot on "The Amazing Race," a reality show in which 12 couples take part in a stunt-packed race round the world. With time on their hands and nothing to lose, the McAllisters embarked on a six-week, country-hopping expedition that won them a cool million at the finish line.

Not bad for a pair of middle-aged desk jockeys. But their biggest challenge was competing against 9,000 other applicants to get on the show in the first place. To qualify, the McAllisters submitted a video that was eye-catching enough to make the cut. They also survived several tiers of interviews, culminating in a weeklong vetting by a team of producers. "They liked my husband's personality," says Kim. "He likes to talk."

Once chosen, the McAllisters spent $1,000 of their own money on equipment, then grabbed their new backpacks and set off on an adventure that included scaling cliffs, luging down mountains, trekking up ski slopes and scarfing down a stomach-churning two pounds-plus of caviar in one sitting. They won the race by booking a flight that got them to their final destination 10 minutes ahead of the second-place team.

Chip and Kim each got a check for $500,000, so they held a million bucks in their hands before paying about $350,000 in taxes. The rest of the money spared their house, valued at $1.8 million, from foreclosure, and they now have more than $1 million in home equity. They donated a portion of their winnings to their church and invested the rest in their business enterprises. Considered the most likable of the participants, the McAllisters have parlayed their TV exposure into a career as "inspirational speakers," giving lectures (for a starting fee of $7,500) on teamwork and how to build a successful marriage. (Learn more at

Aside from winning the money, Chip says he and Kim "enjoyed every single second we were on 'The Amazing Race.'" Even the caviar? "I enjoyed that after it was over."

TIP #8: Make your luck. Chip and Kim McAllister beat out 9,000 other contestants to win a million bucks on "The Amazing Race," a reality TV show.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

First-million story #7 - Invest a little and let it grow

Neil McCarthy started investing in the stock market when he was 34, in the depths of the 1970s bear market. "It got scary for a while," he recalls, "but my philosophy was to invest a little bit and let it grow. When stocks went down, I would buy more."

McCarthy contributed the maximum to both his IRA and his 401(k) at Union Carbide, where he started as a research chemist and got a boost from a 100% employer match. He and his wife, Maureen, who worked as a teacher for several years, continued to save for retirement, even while they were paying for their two sons' college educations.

Their big payoff came with the 1990s bull market. "Everything kept adding up and compounding, and then it doubled in three or four years," says Neil. "It was $500,000, and suddenly it was $1 million."

The McCarthys invested mostly in stock funds, but avoided technology companies. "People were going wild with Internet stocks, but it didn't make sense to me," says Neil, who did financial analysis when he worked in marketing for Union Carbide. "When I saw P/E ratios of 200 to 300, I thought it was absolute nonsense."

Their practical investing style preserved their millionaire status when the market crashed. They also benefited from a bit of fortuitous timing when Neil, who spent the last 14 years of his career working for BP Amoco, retired in 2000. He took his retirement payout as a lump sum and invested part of the money in an immediate annuity just before interest rates started to fall, getting a bigger payout than if he had chosen the company's pension annuity.

Neil, 65, and Maureen, 61, have $1.3 million in savings, which they haven't had to touch. Counting the annuity and Neil's pension from his 20 years with Union Carbide, they have a net worth of about $2.1 million. And that doesn't include their house in Roswell, Ga., valued at about $525,000, which is almost paid off.

The McCarthys are classic stock-market millionaires, reaping the benefit of steady investing through bull and bear markets. But one piece of simple advice made all the difference: "If you wait to save out of what's left over from your salary, it's not going to happen. Pay yourself first."

TIP #7: Don't cut and run. Steady investing through bull and bear markets helped Neil and Maureen McCarthy build a comfortable retirement kitty.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

First-million story #6 - I was trained to work hard

Petro "Pete" Kulynych made his millions the old-fashioned way: He started at the bottom, as the bookkeeper for a small hardware store in North Wilkesboro, N.C. Eventually, that store grew into the Lowe's hardware chain and he ended up a top executive.

Actually, Kulynych, 83, started below the bottom. The son of Ukrainian immigrants, he left Pennsylvania's coal-mining country after high school to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps and helped build the Blue Ridge Parkway through the Appalachians. "I earned $21 to $25 a month, and sent part of it home to feed other family members," says Kulynych. "I was trained to work hard."

He later moved to the National Park Service, attended the Merchant Marine Academy, got married, served in World War II, then used his GI benefits to pay for accounting school. In 1946, he was hired by two brothers-in-law, named Lowe and Buchan, who owned what was then North Wilkesboro Hardware. His starting salary was $25 a week.

As the first employee of the Lowe's chain, Kulynych was always on the executive team -- "We were all CEOs," he says. He became a managing director in 1978 and retired in 1983. Spending his entire career with one company never got boring, says Kulynych, because the company was growing by leaps and bounds, and because he did so many different things -- such as running the company's foundation and working on its retirement plan. "I enjoyed fulfilling our dream of expanding from coast to coast," he says of Lowe's, which now has more than 1,000 stores nationwide, with annual sales of more than $30 billion. "The man I went to work for in 1946 said, 'Stick with me and I'll make you rich.'" That might not be as easy to do today, but "you have that guy who started Microsoft in his college dorm room."

Kulynych's fortune grew with the company. When he retired, he not only benefited from the profit-sharing plan, but also had accumulated "lots of stock options from the early days." Because of splits and dividends, one share of Lowe's stock bought for $12.25 when the company went public in 1961 is now worth $28,000.

Like many members of his generation, Kulynych has always been cautious with money. "I never bought a Cadillac until I could write a check for it," he says. "I live in a small town and I don't stick out any more than the guy down the street who works in the service station."

One of his proudest accomplishments has been paying for the education of his two daughters, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. And he has spent lavishly on philanthropy, donating millions to two family foundations run by his daughters, Brenda and Janice. When he was told that teens in the North Wilkesboro area needed activities to keep them busy, he financed a teen center and theater and helped create a soccer field and skateboard park.

Being able to distribute considerable income "makes you get up in the morning and go to work," says Kulynych. "It's been a good life."

TIP #6: Take the long view. Over his 37-year career, Pete Kulynych rose from bookkeeper to a top executive of the Lowe's hardware chain.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

First-million story #5 - I knew I would have to earn this

Scott Patterson, star of the "Gilmore Girls" TV series, worked for years to get into the big leagues, honing his craft in small towns and throwing a curveball or two to keep things interesting. And that was just his baseball career.

Patterson pitched in the minor leagues during the 1980s, and came tantalizingly close to the majors. He was traded to the Yankees and then cut from the team.

Undaunted, he started a second long-shot career, moving to New York in 1986 to study acting. He worked with members of the Actors Studio and appeared in a couple of commercials a year to earn money to pay the rent. "I knew I would have to really, really earn this," says Patterson. "It turned out to be an endurance game."

He made a short-lived breakthrough in 1991, when ABC flew him to Los Angeles to audition for a TV movie, but that "crumbled very quickly." Back in New York, Patterson landed a few theater credits and then returned to L.A. He crashed on friends' couches and slept in his car -- a 1966 Pontiac Le Mans -- as he made connections that led to small movie roles and TV appearances. Eight years later, he says, he read for the part of Luke Danes, the male lead in "Gilmore Girls," and "I felt like I was home."

He didn't get rich the first year. "The money was good," he says, "though not as good as you'd think." But his salary has risen with the series' popularity, and as his character has grown. With a net worth in the millions, thanks to some astute investing, Patterson says he "can parachute out of this series and be pretty comfortable for the rest of my life."

Now Patterson shares his wealth by helping raise funds for a new pediatrics wing at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore and for the National Children's Alliance. His advice: "Even when you've been pounded for 20 years, don't give up. If you stay in the game long enough, you get lucky."

TIP #5: Don't let setbacks get you down. It took actor Scott Patterson of "Gilmore Girls" 14 years and several big disappointments to become a Hollywood star.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

First-million story #4 - Sometimes a big risk pays off

When most kids are seniors in college, they're writing résumés and cruising toward graduation. Not Kevin Plank. Nine years ago, when Plank was in his last year at the University of Maryland, he began developing sportswear that now outfits most professional and college sports teams and makes a fashion statement on high-school playing fields. As the founder of Under Armour, Plank, 32, presides over a Baltimore company that employs 450 people and grossed more than $200 million last year.

Plank owes a debt to sweat. As a player on the Maryland Terrapins' football team, he wore a cotton undershirt that turned into a soggy liability during games. Already an entrepreneur (he was running a thriving floral-delivery service out of his dorm), Plank began searching fabric stores for a lightweight material that would fit snugly, wick away moisture and replace the undershirt.

Once he had found the perfect fabric, Plank paid a tailor $400 to come up with several prototypes and asked his teammates to try them out. "They said the shirt was great for football -- and baseball and lacrosse, too," says Plank. "I realized this wasn't just a shirt but a marketing opportunity."

Plank hit New York City's garment district and returned with enough fabric to make 500 undershirts, which he promoted to players on major college and NFL teams. "I would ask them to try this product, and if they liked it to give one to the guy in the next locker," says Plank. Eventually, teams on both sides of the field were wearing Plank's "compression apparel" -- and showing it off on TV.

After graduation, Plank raised start-up money by maxing out his credit cards to the tune of $40,000. He tried to patent his idea, but gave up after racking up $7,000 in legal fees. For the next several years he took no salary from the business, and he lived and worked rent-free in a house owned by his grandmother. He later got a $250,000 loan from the Small Business Administration and used almost half of it to repay debts.

Under Armour is now the official supplier of compression apparel to Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer, and its garments are worn by about 30 NFL teams and nearly 100 Division I-A college football teams. It was a high-stakes gamble for a kid barely out of college, but Plank thinks youth worked in his favor. "When you're 22 or 23, there's no better time to take a big risk. Sometimes it pays off." In his case, the rewards have included buying a Cadillac at age 26 and gaining VIP access to major sporting events, such as the Super Bowl. "For someone who is passionate about sports, that's a big part of my payoff."

TIP #4: Go for broke. Just out of college, Kevin Plank ran up $40,000 in credit card debt to launch Under Armour, his sports-apparel company.

Saturday, 10 May 2008

First-million story #3 - Figure out your strengths

Soon after Scott and Mandi Leonard were married in 1996, they took a big risk. Scott quit his job as a stockbroker and started his own financial-planning business. He had no clients, no income and a big mortgage -- the Leonards had just put a 10% down payment on a $320,000 house in Redondo Beach, Calif.

For three years, Scott and Mandi lived on the income from Mandi's jobs with technology companies. Employed by Oracle and PeopleSoft, she earned valuable stock options during the go-go years of the late 1990s.

By 2000, Mandi wanted to quit working: Son Griffin was a year old and Jacob was on the way. Her PeopleSoft stock, for which she had paid $6 per share, had risen to $43, and Scott was getting nervous. They decided to sell the stock, trade up to a bigger house and stash some of the money in the bank. Says Scott, "Having a safety net was more important to us than trying to get an extra $10 per share on the stock." And a good thing, too. Within a year, the price had dropped into the teens.

The Leonards also made a smart real-estate investment. They sold their first house for about $500,000 and moved up to an $800,000 house in Hermosa Beach. With an ocean view and a rooftop deck, the house was recently appraised for $1.45 million.

Meanwhile, Scott's business began to take off -- he now manages about $100 million in assets for his clients -- and once again the Leonards decided to invest in real estate. About two years ago they paid $1.25 million for a historic but dilapidated house overlooking the water in Redondo Beach. They spent about $250,000 -- mostly in cash -- to renovate the property for Scott's business. That building was recently appraised for $1.8 million.

Having astutely ridden California's real-estate surge, the Leonards have enough home equity plus savings to put them comfortably in millionaire territory. They also have about $175,000 in 401(k) and IRA retirement funds invested in stocks, which they plan to beef up now that they have renovated their business property. "I'm very much in favor of diversifying investments," says Scott. But if the real estate market turns soft, he'll take the opportunity to "look hard at picking up another property."

The Leonards owe their success to knowing the difference between a calculated risk and a gamble. They felt more confident about starting a business and investing in real estate than about hanging on to their tech stocks. "Stand back and figure out your strengths and weaknesses," says Scott, "and keep your eye on your long-term goal."

TIP #3: Know what you do best. Scott and Mandi Leonard ditched their tech stocks to concentrate on real estate.

Monday, 5 May 2008

First-million story #2 - I put my money where my mouth is

Elmo Shropshire had a day job as a veterinarian in Marin County, Calif., and a side gig as a bluegrass singer when he recorded the holiday song that put him on the map -- and put his vet business out to pasture. The song, "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer," has sold 10 million copies, inspired a music video and a movie, and made Shropshire a millionaire five times over.

Shropshire first heard the saga of the tipsy grandma and the renegade reindeer after bumping into songwriter Randy Brooks, who wrote the piece, at a bluegrass performance. Convinced that the ballad suited his twangy voice and comic singing style, he shelled out $500 to record it himself and another $700 to make 500 singles. "Grandma" aired on a San Francisco radio station in 1979 and caused an instant ruckus. "Kids were calling in and saying, 'Play it, play it,'" says Shropshire.

Despite the enthusiastic reception, he couldn't find a record company to take "Grandma" national. Nevertheless, the song was frequently requested over the next several holiday seasons. Says Shropshire, "It was one of the few songs in history where public clamor rather than company hype drove demand."

Shropshire went for broke in 1983, investing $30,000 to produce his own "Grandma" music video and $10,000 to make an album featuring the song. The gamble paid off when MTV picked up the video (it still appears regularly) and Columbia Records offered him a distribution deal. In the three weeks before Christmas, the company sold 500,000 "Grandma" singles and 100,000 albums. Shropshire got a royalty check for $50,000.

The singer retired from his veterinary practice in 1995 and now works full-time on "Grandma"-related enterprises, which include sheet music, a stuffed singing reindeer and a recently released album called "Christmas in the U.S.A." Says Shropshire of his unlikely success, "I had this blind belief in the project. I put my money where my mouth is."

TIP #2: Support your idea. Elmo Shropshire, who recorded a hit holiday tune, invested over $40,000 of his own cash to produce a music video and an album.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

First-million story #1 - Do whatever it takes

Marco and Sandra Johnson started out saving lives in their community of Lancaster, Calif., and ended up running a multimillion-dollar business whose customers come from across the United States.

The idea was born on the job. Marco, a full-time firefighter and paramedic, would come home from an incident and complain to Sandra that lives might have been saved if bystanders had been able to administer first aid. At the time, the Johnsons were trying to have a second child, and Marco was particularly upset when "children died unnecessarily because no one at the scene knew CPR," says Sandra.

In 1997, they began offering CPR and first-aid classes to local businesses. Sandra handled scheduling and other arrangements, and Marco taught classes between shifts at the firehouse. At first they borrowed material and equipment and brought it to each site; after a few months they scraped together enough money to rent a 400-square-foot office.

The business started to take off when workers whose jobs require CPR certification, such as schoolteachers and bus drivers, sought them out. Then students asked them to start training emergency medical technicians because local junior colleges had a two-year waiting list for EMT classes. Within a few years, the Johnsons had become accredited for EMT training and moved their Antelope Valley Medical College to bigger quarters. "Everything was happening fast," says Marco.

Riding the momentum took seven-day-a-week stamina. Marco alternated shifts at the firehouse with classroom duty, and Sandra was "always on the phone" setting up appointments. The couple didn't want to take out a business loan, so they plowed their own income into the school and sometimes put off making mortgage payments on their house to pay their employees. Says Marco: "There were times when it was a gut check. We looked at each other and said, 'What did we get ourselves into?'"

Now the Johnsons can breathe easier. In 2004, their school was expected to pull in revenues of $7.5 million, and their corporate clients have included businesses from Boeing to Burger King. That boom in business has given the couple the means to own several houses and to treat their extended family - a group of 12 - to vacations in Hawaii.

Even more rewarding, says Sandra, is the example they can set for their children: To accomplish your dream, "do whatever it takes." As for herself, "We're saving lives. It's awesome to know I was part of that with my husband." And Marco is finally planning to retire his fire helmet.

Tip #1: Go flat out. Between shifts at the firehouse, Marco Johnson, with his wife, Sandra, started a school to teach emergency medical techniques.

Friday, 25 April 2008

How to make a million dollars: 9 first-million stories

Today, I am starting to publish 9 real stories about making that first million. Original stories can be found here

Saturday, 5 April 2008

136 Million Dollar Lottery Winner

According to The Associated Press, David Sneath has worked at a Ford Motor Co. parts warehouse for 34 years, but it didn't take him any time at all to walk out once he discovered he had won a $136 million Mega Millions jackpot.

"I yelled to the boss, 'I'm out of here,"' Sneath said Thursday after going to state lottery headquarters in downtown Lansing to pick up his first $1 million check.

Sneath, of Livonia in suburban Detroit, said the reality of his win has yet to sink in.

"I still haven't touched base with Earth yet," he said. When he saw in a newspaper that he had a winning ticket, "my whole body went numb."

Sneath plans to buy a cottage on Mullett Lake in northern Michigan and maybe a new fishing boat or two to help him land the walleye he loves to catch. He's tired of misplacing his glasses and may get laser surgery to correct his vision. And he'll probably move out of his three-bedroom, two-bath ranch home, although he plans to stay in Michigan.

He's even considering a return to Eastern Michigan University to finish his bachelor's degree. He's eight credits shy of a major in warehousing and a minor in international marketing.

Sneath turned 60 on Tuesday, the day he won the jackpot. Friends and relatives at first thought it was an April Fool's joke.

"I called my sister; she didn't believe me. I called my daughter; she thought I was nuts," said Sneath, who said he made his first call to his ex-wife, Deborah.

Deborah, whom he called "my significant ex," attended the Thursday news conference where Sneath was presented with a large replica of a $136 million check. His daughter was there with her daughter, as was his son, who had bought the winning ticket on his father's behalf during trip to a gas station to get cigarettes.

Sneath plans to take a lump payment worth $84.3 million, or $59.6 million after taxes. On Thursday, he got the first $1 million; he'll get the remainder in a second payment. At the warehouse, he made $60,000 to $70,000 a year.

A self-described "character," Sneath generally kicked in $6 a week with four co-workers at his job in Brownstown to buy lottery tickets, spending half the money on tickets for Tuesday's draw and half for Friday's.

This time, his son bought him $15 worth of tickets, picking numbers Sneath suggested. The winning combination — 4, 17, 26, 46 and 56, plus 25 for the Mega Ball — were numbers Sneath once got as a random pick and continues to play.

But his four co-workers didn't entirely lose out. He plans to give them $1 million each out of his winnings.

Despite his longtime association with Ford, he said he won't be using any of the money to buy one of his former employer's vehicles.

"I worked for Ford Motor Co.," he said. "I won't be buying a Ford product."

Sneath's $136 million jackpot may seem like a lot, but it doesn't even come close to the record. The largest Mega Millions jackpot was $390 million in March last year, given to two winners in Georgia and New Jersey.

Mega Millions is a multistate lottery game offered in Michigan, California, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington state. Jackpots start at a guaranteed $12 million and grow when no one wins the jackpot.

Monday, 24 March 2008

Your Million Dollar Idea with the Law of Attraction

To people like John D. Rockefeller, $1million really was not a lot of money and I doubt he would have considered that amount of money being wealthy at all.

By using the Law of Attraction you can demand the actualization of your own million dollar idea and receive the plans with very little effort. A lot of people reading this article may feel that $1million is way out of reach and not within their comfort zone, whereas some may feel that $1million is nothing and a very little amount indeed.

Your mindset around money will ultimately determine whether or not you will actualize the amount you desire, yet that is not what I want to share with you in this article. I want to help you to discover your $1million dollar idea so you can go out and work towards it.

Bear in mind that if you can provide $1,000 worth of value to 1000 people then you will have just created $1million dollars.

First off, make a list of everything that you know and have some interest in. Making money really isn’t a hard task, but you shouldn’t be making money doing something you do not enjoy – that’s the worst way to make money!

You may want to spend the next couple of days sporadically thinking about this list and when inspiration comes, you can add to it. Once you’ve got your list, you want to order it, by placing the most fun thing that you are interested in at the top and the least fun thing at the bottom.

Take the top 3 items from your list and meditate on them. By this I mean find a quiet, comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed for at least 30 minutes, close your eyes and begin to quieten your mind. Let all thoughts just drift away without giving them your energy.

Then when you feel very relaxed and comfortable you can begin to think about those top 3 subjects. Think about how you can creatively use them to create money and begin to formulate ideas. These don’t have to be million dollar ideas, but just think about different ways in which you can monetize them.

Once 30 minutes has passed, say to yourself several times:
“I intend my million dollar idea to present itself to me”

And that’s it! Repeat the entire process (except for making a list) for the next 10 – 20 days and pay attention to what’s happening in your life. You shouldn’t be searching for a million dollar idea – your work is already done in the meditation, so just let the universal forces bring to you the “how”.

Remember, when you take score of where you are currently at, you are telling the Law of Attraction that you want more of the situation you’re currently in. Forget about taking score, just let whatever happens, happen!

Thx to Gary Evans

Monday, 17 March 2008

Drug Lord Wins a Million Dollar Lottery

They say good things happen to good people, but apparently these days even the bad guys have luck. As News Motionin repoted, an alleged drug kingpin Khanh Nhat Bui won $1.35 million on lotto, just as the police investigation closed in on him for involvement in international heroin trafficking syndicate.

Police targeted Bui and his family for a long time. During the raids on the family properties in 2005, $350,000 was seized in cash. The investigation continued after that and finally in December last year Bui was charged for Heroin trafficking.

The investigators believe he brought blocks of heroin from Vietnam and distributed it to his dealer network.

His former associate revealed the win: “Everyone in the community knows that Ca (Bui’s nickname) won the Lotto. Ca told me that he won $1.35 million,” and legal sources confirmed that Bui won lotto prize in 2006 in the middle of police investigation.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

The annual lists of million dollar business ideas

To get a feel for the types of ideas that tend to be money-makers, check out these annual lists of "million dollar business ideas" from recent years.

Monday, 11 February 2008

100 Ways To Prepare a Million Dollar Idea

Excellent Tips from Maddock Douglas - well-known leader in cutting-edge market research.

1. Take a warm bath.
2. Go for a drive with the windows open.
3. Order Chinese food and eat it with chopsticks.
4. Call a random phone number — ask a stranger.
5. Ask a child.
6. Create an idea that would get you fired.
7. Paint your bedroom.
8. Consult tarot cards.
9. Gargle.
10. Play football.
11. Sing a show tune on a crowded elevator.
12. How would your favorite uncle solve the problem?
13. Doodle.
14. Do a crossword puzzle.
15. Pray for a little help.
16. Ask the most creative person you know.
17. Ask the least creative person you know.
18. Run.
19. Ask your local postal worker.
20. Ice skate.
21. Take a shower with your clothes on.
22. Ask yourself, “What rhymes with orange?”
23. Talk to your favorite cheerleader about the idea.
24. Breathe slowly.
25. Flip a coin.
26. Mow the lawn.
27. What is the simplest solution?
28. Do 20 quick push-ups.
29. Go shopping!
30. Write the alphabet backwards.
31. Build a fort in your office.
32. How would an ant solve the problem?
33. Create a silly solution that rhymes.
34. Make paper airplanes.
35. Use three wishes to solve your challenge.
36. Browse through a bookstore.
37. Take a survey.
38. Make a sculpture with mashed potatoes.
39. Fish.
40. Go to Vegas, play a lot of craps.
41. Daydream.
42. How would you solve it with an infinite budget?
43. Write out the problem with your opposite hand.
44. Sing the National Anthem with a cockney accent.
45. Eat dinner.
46. Change your brand of coffee.
47. Wash dishes.
48. Find the solution in the clouds.
49. Swing.
50. Take a nap at your desk.
51. Go bowling.
52. Spin in your chair shouting: “WHOOPEE!”
53. Eat a snow cone.
54. Contort your face in a strange and unusual ways.
55. High-five yourself.
56. Go camping.
57. Take Spot for a walk.
58. Massage your scalp for 10 minutes.
59. Play musical chairs.
60. Go for a walk in the rain.
61. Pick up something with your toes.
62. Communicate.
63. Stand on your head.
64. Stand on someone else’s head.
65. Go for a drive.
66. Call a psychic hotline, laugh at their predictions.
67. Caffeine.
68. More caffeine.
69. Imagine explaining the idea at an awards banquet.
70. Make a prank phone call.
71. Think about it before you go to sleep.
72. Call mom, she can fix anything.
73. When in doubt, resort to duct tape.
74. Watch slasher movies to boost your creative confidence.
75. Fly a kite.
76. Shake up a can of pop and open it.
77. Go for a walk.
78. Draw a picture of it.
79. Pretend to snorkel.
80. Think like a child.
81. Walk outside and wave to a stranger.
82. Look at the person’s paper next to you.
83. Climb a tree.
84. Find a new word in the dictionary.
85. Take an ice cream break.
86. Make a daisy chain.
87. Dance a polka.
88. Play in a toy store.
89. Just don’t think about it.
90. Jump on a treadmill.
91. Alphabetize your refrigeratables.
92. Pretend like it doesn’t matter.
93. Paint with your fingers.
94. Clean your toilet.
95. Lose yourself in your favorite music.
96. Watch old black & white reruns.
97. Listen to bees.
98. Walk in a grocery store – notice clever solutions.
99. Rake the leaves in your yard.
100. Sit outside and count the stars.

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Friday, 8 February 2008

How To Become A Millionaire. Kelis ft. Andre 3000

Ok, let's take a rest.

Kelis ft. Andre 3000 - Millionaire

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Why people believe weird things about million dollars

Would you rather earn $50,000 a year while other people make $25,000, or would you rather earn $100,000 a year while other people get $250,000? Assume for the moment that prices of goods and services will stay the same.

Surprisingly -- stunningly, in fact -- research shows that the majority of people select the first option; they would rather make twice as much as others even if that meant earning half as much as they could otherwise have. How irrational is that?

This result is one among thousands of experiments in behavioral economics, neuroeconomics and evolutionary economics conclusively demonstrating that we are every bit as irrational when it comes to money as we are in most other aspects of our lives. In this case, relative social ranking trumps absolute financial status. Here's a related thought experiment. Would you rather be A or B?

A is waiting in line at a movie theater. When he gets to the ticket window, he is told that as he is the 100,000th customer of the theater, he has just won $100.

B is waiting in line at a different theater. The man in front of him wins $1,000 for being the 1-millionth customer of the theater. Mr. B wins $150.

Amazingly, most people said that they would prefer to be A. In other words, they would rather forgo $50 in order to alleviate the feeling of regret that comes with not winning the thousand bucks. Essentially, they were willing to pay $50 for regret therapy.

Regret falls under a psychological effect known as loss aversion. Research shows that before we risk an investment, we need to feel assured that the potential gain is twice what the possible loss might be because a loss feels twice as bad as a gain feels good. That's weird and irrational, but it's the way it is.

Human as it sounds, loss aversion appears to be a trait we've inherited genetically because it is found in other primates, such as capuchin monkeys. In a 2006 experiment, these small primates were given 12 tokens that they were allowed to trade with the experimenters for either apple slices or grapes. In a preliminary trial, the monkeys were given the opportunity to trade tokens with one experimenter for a grape and with another experimenter for apple slices. One capuchin monkey in the experiment, for example, traded seven tokens for grapes and five tokens for apple slices. A baseline like this was established for each monkey so that the scientists knew each monkey's preferences.

The experimenters then changed the conditions. In a second trial, the monkeys were given additional tokens to trade for food, only to discover that the price of one of the food items had doubled. According to the law of supply and demand, the monkeys should now purchase more of the relatively cheap food and less of the relatively expensive food, and that is precisely what they did. So far, so rational. But in another trial in which the experimental conditions were manipulated in such a way that the monkeys had a choice of a 50% chance of a bonus or a 50% chance of a loss, the monkeys were twice as averse to the loss as they were motivated by the gain.

Remarkable! Monkeys show the same sensitivity to changes in supply and demand and prices as people do, as well as displaying one of the most powerful effects in all of human behavior: loss aversion. It is extremely unlikely that this common trait would have evolved independently and in parallel between multiple primate species at different times and different places around the world. Instead, there is an early evolutionary origin for such preferences and biases, and these traits evolved in a common ancestor to monkeys, apes and humans and was then passed down through the generations.

If there are behavioral analogies between humans and other primates, the underlying brain mechanism driving the choice preferences most certainly dates back to a common ancestor more than 10 million years ago. Think about that: Millions of years ago, the psychology of relative social ranking, supply and demand and economic loss aversion evolved in the earliest primate traders.

This research goes a long way toward debunking one of the biggest myths in all of psychology and economics, known as "Homo economicus." This is the theory that "economic man" is rational, self-maximizing and efficient in making choices. But why should this be so? Given what we now know about how irrational and emotional people are in all other aspects of life, why would we suddenly become rational and logical when shopping or investing?

Consider one more experimental example to prove the point: the ultimatum game. You are given $100 to split between yourself and your game partner. Whatever division of the money you propose, if your partner accepts it, you each get to keep your share. If, however, your partner rejects it, neither of you gets any money.

How much should you offer? Why not suggest a $90-$10 split? If your game partner is a rational, self-interested money-maximizer -- the very embodiment of Homo economicus -- he isn't going to turn down a free 10 bucks, is he? He is. Research shows that proposals that offer much less than a $70-$30 split are usually rejected.

Why? Because they aren't fair. Says who? Says the moral emotion of "reciprocal altruism," which evolved over the Paleolithic eons to demand fairness on the part of our potential exchange partners. "I'll scratch your back if you'll scratch mine" only works if I know you will respond with something approaching parity. The moral sense of fairness is hard-wired into our brains and is an emotion shared by most people and primates tested for it, including people from non-Western cultures and those living close to how our Paleolithic ancestors lived.

When it comes to money, as in most other aspects of life, reason and rationality are trumped by emotions and feelings.

Michael Shermer

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Million Dollar Building - 3D Million Dollar Home Page for the City -

The Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam is selling 12″x15″ spaces on it’s exterior for $25 a pop and calling this “a new work that sets itself on the borders between commercial and Art.”

Friday, 1 February 2008

The Million Dollar Homepage Scripts

I found a lot of scripts for the million dollar homepages.
They allow to sell advertising space on any website by selling pixels. Pixels are bought in blocks of pixels and then arranged on a clickable image map with the advertiser's link. The good thing, that the script is not limited to just the 'Million Dollar Homepage' type sites. It's easy to find different templates. I'll try to play with them in the future. Did anybody install some of the 'Million Dollar Homepage' scripts? Which is better?

Monday, 14 January 2008

Top 20 Youngest Million Dollar Men in the Web

Check out this list of youngest online money makers who became millionaires. Maximal age less than 30.

1. Mark Zuckerberg [ Facebook ] 23 years old | $700M
2. Andrew Gower [ Runescape ] 28 years old | $650M
3. Blake Ross and David Hyatt [ Mozilla ] 22 years old | $120M
4. Chad Hurley [ Youtube ] 30 years old | $85M
5. Angelo Sotira [ Deviant ART ] 26 years old | $75M
6. John Vechey [ PopCap Games ] 28 years old | $60M
7. Alexander Levin [ WordPress ] 23 years old | $57M
8. Jake Nickell [ Threadless ] 28 years old | $50M
9. Sean Belnick [ Biz Chair ] 20 years old | $42M
10. Kevin Rose [ Digg ] 30 years old | $31M
11. Ryan Block [ Engadget ] 25 years old | $20M
12. Aodhan Cullen [ Stat Counter ] 24 years old | $18M
13. Tom Fulp [ Newgrounds ] 29 years old | $15M
14. Rishi Kacker and Matt Pauker [ Voltage ] 24 years old | $12M
15. Markus Frind [ Plenty of Fish ] 29 years old | $10M
16. Catherine and David Cook [ My Year Book ] 17 & 19 years old | $10M
17. Fredrik Neij [ The Pirate Bay ] 28 years old | $10M
18. David Hauser & Siamak Taghaddos [ GotvMail ] 24 years old | $8M
19. Jermaine Griggs [ Hear and Play ] 23 years old | $5M
20. Jay Westerdal [ Domain Tools ] 29 years old | $5M

Sunday, 13 January 2008

3 Keys To Million Dollar Idea: Confidence,Timing & Opportunity

I remember as a kid riding in my dad’s car past a field that was vacant at the end of our street and he would say about once a week, “someone should really build a car wash there, they would make a killing.” It was is on the corner of a busy intersection in Aurora, Colorado and My Sister-in-Law lives in the same neighborhood I grew up in so occasionally we drive by this intersection, and guess what? Yep, there is a car wash there now. Had my dad followed through on his idea, we would be the ones making about 5 bucks a car now with a line on Saturday Mornings of people waiting to wash that oh so nice ice melt chemical residue off their shiny cars! But we are not. I remember he had a lot of ideas like this one, and now much later people are doing what he was thinking about 20 years ago!

What makes the difference between people that do, and people that think about doing? Why is it that with so many idea floating around in my head, only about 1% I actually do? It could be resources; there was no way my dad had enough extra money when I was younger to finance a car wash business. But over the years I have learned that “vision” drives resources… if you have a good enough idea, or vision of the future, you can sell almost anything, so I don’t buy a shortage of resources anymore. I have been in jobs where my yearly budget was about $6K a year, and jobs when my budget was $100K a year, and the less money we had the harder we worked, but the better the teamwork, the more focused the outcome and the better the service was! Really…

So I don’t think the reason some people accomplish incredible things and some don’t is focused around money or helpers… I think it is focused on timing, opportunity and confidence. I think having people around you that can help you and the money to do stuff is a confidence builder, but that is not the only way. Right now I am going through a time of my life when I feel incredible energy. It is like I expect lightning at any moment, the air is jumping with anticipation and electricity, and I am primed for action… I cant say that I have ever experienced this kind of thing before, but I just know that something big is about to happen! I am suddenly a big believer in timing…

Opportunity; we have all heard the old adages that suggest when it knocks we open the door, but how often does it really knock? I have had several opportunities come along, but I wouldn’t say tons. I do think that you have to jump at the opportunities that come, no matter how big or small, and go for it. Sometimes you will land on your feet and sometimes you will land on your butt, but you have to take a risk once in a while. You can always pick yourself up and try again. I came across a verse recently that said, “Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of. Play it safe and end up holding the bag.” (Luke 19:26 The Message) I have a love hate relationship with taking risks… I think it is because I hate to make a mistake, I hate to lose and I constantly second guess myself. But I have also seen taking risks pay off huge dividends, I risked a move to Texas and learned a ton, I am glad we went, even though it was one of the hardest things we have ever done.

So the last thing is confidence. Do you have it? Do I have it? It seems like that is the million dollar question. Especially when faced with an opportunity that requires a great deal of risk. The hard thing about confidence is that if you are just picking yourself up off your butt from the last risk you took, it may be a whole lot harder to try again. I think sometimes confidence and perseverance go hand in hand. When you know that you have something or are something that no one else sees at the time, it takes a great deal of confidence to persevere until you can step into your opportunity.

I have found that at different times I have had one or two of these things; Opportunity, Timing, and Confidence, but rarely have all three lined up for me. But now, I am looking down the line and seeing a convergence of the three, a virtual lining up like on a slot machine – and I am waiting for the “jackpot” to fire. I am waiting for bells and whistles, for the lights and sirens, for the incredible and the unbelievable. My confidence is not my own, I could never claim to be what I need to be to make this happen. The timing has absolutely nothing to do with me, I couldn’t have aligned all the circumstances if I was the most powerful man in the world. The opportunity is once in a lifetime, a small group of people on the edge of seeing unimaginable positive things happen. It is amazing right now to be a part of the history that is occurring around me. It will be big; I would love you to come along for the ride… 2008 is the start of something huge… it wont be the same without you… come be a part…

Here is to your 2008. May your timing converge on your life, may opportunity rip down your door, may your be so sure in your journey that nothing can shake you - be your absolute best this year, and do not compromise one bit of yourself. You are an amazing person, and there is no need for you to settle.

Graham Prouty

Distance betwen you and million dollar idea

The distance between you and a million dollars is, now, in this Internet age, only as far away as one good, simple idea. That might as well be Nebraska for some of us, but I’m sure if we all sat down and tried to determine a cool website idea we’d strike virtual gold well before Tom Cruise does his next talk show meltdown. What are some of the great, simple ideas that have netted people fortunes in the past?

The problem with the “small simple idea that makes you millions” is that, once realised, the creator might have sweet sauce all to do with their lives; if they don’t have a passion for work in some other sense then they might well turn to drugs or rare Barry Manilow recordings like Bjorn Borg (I don’t know about the Barry bit, but he definitely did the drugs).

Friday, 4 January 2008

MIllion Dollar Investment Ideas for 2008

How would you invest $10,000 in the coming year?

From the crystal ball of new and returning experts comes advice for $10,000 in 2008:

Sheldon Jacobs, editor of The No-Load Investor, Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y.:

"I'd stick with the winners and do the same thing I did last year. Split the $10,000 between T. Rowe Price New Era Fund, and PowerShares FTSE RAFI US 1000.

Richard Cripps, senior managing director of EquityCompass Strategies for Stifel Nicolaus, Baltimore:

"My stock selection for the $10,000 is stock of Men's Wearhouse, which has benefited from the consolidating men's apparel sector."

Elaine Garzarelli, president of Garzarelli Research, New York:

"Put 25 percent in iShares Dow Jones Transportation Average, 25 percent in Financial Select Sector SPDR, 25 percent in iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index and 25 percent in Consumer Discretionary SPDR ."

Don Phillips, managing director of Morningstar Inc., Chicago:

"Put the $10,000 in Selected American Shares D. This fund is low-cost and efficient, and its managers have a lot of their own money in it."

Richard Yamarone, chief economist for Argus Research Corp., New York:

"My first choice would be to invest the money in commodities, meaning everything from energy to copper, corn and wheat. For those interested in stocks and not commodities futures, I suggest consumer-related stocks such as restaurants. Spread the money between Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. , Burger King Corp. and Cheesecake Factory Inc."

Hugh Johnson, chairman, Johnson Illington Advisors LLC, Albany, N.Y.:

Put $5,000 in the stock market and $5,000 in the bond market. For stocks, use either a good, actively managed mutual fund or an index fund mirroring the S&P 500, S&P 1500 or Russell 3000. For bonds, use a fixed-income ETF mirroring a five- to seven-year Treasury."

Mark Johannessen, president-elect, Financial Planning Association, and managing director, Harris SBSB, McLean, Va.:

"Max out your 401(k) contribution, pay off credit-card debt and preserve money for future need. If that's done, buy $3,000 of an intermediate-term, high-quality corporate or municipal bond. Buy $3,000 of a large-cap growth ETF or mutual fund."

Curt Weil, certified financial planner, Lasecke Weil Wealth Advisory Group LLC, Palo Alto, Calif.:

"I'd put a third of my dough in the iShares Cohen & Steers Realty Majors ETF. I'd put another one-third in ­iShares S&P MidCap 400 Growth Index ETF. The remaining one-third goes overseas to Driehaus International Discovery, a no-load fund targeting small- to mid-cap growth stocks."

Thx to STLtoday

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Top 10 Tips To Make Million Dollars

1. Keep it simple.

2. Don't be afraid to negotiate.

3. Get your ducks in a row and your numbers on paper.

4. Keep your eyes peeled for better ways to do your job.

5. Don't delay.

6. Watch for fund fees.

7. Plot your strategy when it's time to move on.

8. Review your tax withholding.

9. Flex your tax-saving muscle.

10. Stash savings in a Roth IRA if you're eligible.

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