Rulebreakers, and makers

I’ve gotten more email about Alex Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage than almost any other specific topic, ever.

Most of the people who write believe:
a. they discovered it
b. I didn’t know about it
c. there was a big lesson to be learned

I hesitated to post about it, largely because I didn’t have a lot to add to the hooplah, unil I read Steve Yastrow’s post on tompeters!

The interesting ideas in a changing world are those that inform us about how to behave in the future. New rules are worth learning.

On the other hand, if someone breaks a rule in a way that can rarely be duplicated, we don’t learn a whole lot–unless there’s a pattern.

I think Alex brilliantly manipulated the current architecture of the web in order to earn a substantial profit. And he did earn it… his investment of cash and time was substantial.

When I see the 10,000 copycats out there, all I can do is sigh. Why do they believe this is a new trend? Why do they think it’s going to become an important part of the marketing mix, and are they really so naive to believe that they, and they alone, will earn even more than Alex did?

Yes, "? and the Mysterians" hat a hit song and wore masks, but that doesn’t mean that wearing a mask and naming yourself after a punctuation mark is a new rule.

I’m frequently reminded of the lemming gene in mankind when I clean out my spam box. A subject line will show up and within minutes, it will be copied by 100 other spammers. Because copying the new rule feels easier and safer and more profitable than inventing a new rule. And in the world of spam, it guess it probably is.

In this case, though, I don’t think you should quit your day job (Alex should, though, and apparently has).