Childhood and Young Adult Life
Tew grew up in Wiltshire, England and graduated from high school in 2002. Instead of going to college, he pursued a career of beatboxing. His alias was "A-Plus" and during this time he founded HumanBeatBox.com, an online beatboxing forum where participants in the discussion could gain insights into how to make various sounds for beatboxing. In 2005 he enrolled at the University of Nottingham, but did not continue shortly after he started his first venture into technology.
The Big Break
In 2005, Tew created The Million Dollar Homepage. The website was meant for advertising and those seeking to do so could purchase space on the web page for $1 per pixel being sold in ten by ten blocks. The total available space on the web page was 1,000 X 1,000 pixels, allowing for Tew to sell the advertising in the aforementioned blocks. Companies could insert their logos or advertisements and when users visited the site, they could click on the desired logo and be transferred to the company's own site. Within four months the advertising space had sold out after selling the last 1,000 pixels for more than $38,000, resulting in Tew earning his first million dollars.
Following the success of The Million Dollar Homepage, Tew founded and invested in several more companies including Pixelotto, and PopJam. Those companies did not see the same success as his first technology venture, leading Tew to move to San Francisco to be the product manager at Monkey Inferno.
In 2012, Tew and Michael Acton Smith launched a website called "Calm", which eventually became a mobile application. The app allows users to engage in meditation, listen to music, view masterclasses, listen to soothing bedtime stories (some of which are read by celebrities), and use other features. The app can be used for free in limited capacity and users can upgrade to a premium subscription account. As of 2018, there are more than half a million users that subscribe to the app. Calm has seen steady growth since its launch and as of 2019, it is valued at $1 billion dollars.
Calm is founded
Alex Tew and Michael Acton Smith found a health technology company with a website and app called "Calm".
PopJam is founded
Tew founds a social website with a focus on humor.
Pixelotto is launched
Tew launches a spin-off of The Million Dollar Homepage, where advertisers could upload their graphics.
Alex Tew enters college
He enrolls at the University of Nottingham in the Business Management Program.
The Million Dollar Homepage is launched
Alex Tew launches an advertising website where companies can purchase pixel space to connect users to their products or services.
Michael Acton Smith
Co-founder at Calm
Co-Founder at Monkey Inferno
How the Million Dollar Homepage kid became the $250m app man
May 12, 2018
The man behind the million-dollar homepage
September 15, 2016
Documentaries, videos and podcasts
E868: Calm Co-founder Alex Tew shares lessons on hyper-growth done well, finding the right investors, creating a new market & making a positive difference in the world with 1m+ subscribers, $80m revenue & a $250m valuation
October 26, 2018
Founder Alex Tew on how he landed 100,000 users for free in less than a week for PopJam and Calm
January 4, 2017
Million Dollar Homepage Creator Alex Tew on Creating a Viral Marketing Phenomenon
May 6, 2011