Alex Tew, PopJam CEO and the guy behind the internet phenomenon Million Dollar Homepage, has now gone the opposite extreme. Along with developer Ben Dowling, he has created Do Nothing For 2 Minutes, a site whose purpose is pretty self-explanatory.
While MillionDollarHomepage.com was a celebration in online excess, DoNothingFor2Minutes.com is a zen treatise on computing and a challenge.
As the name suggests, DoNothingFor2Minutes.com is all about doing nothing for two whole minutes. It’s amazingly simple – a beautiful sunset picture, a rolling audio track of ocean waves and an on-screen timer that counts down the two minutes. If you touch your mouse or keyboard, the screen flashes FAIL in red and resets the timer (see above).
Can you sit in front of your computer and not touch your mouse or keyboard for a just two minutes? It’s actually not as easy as it sounds, especially if you work in a web-intensive field.
“I know this because I am an impatient, intense, always-on blogger who can’t possibly keep my hands off of a keyboard or mouse for two whole minutes,” writes ZDNet’s Sam Diaz.
“For the record: the FAIL message forced me to keep my hands off for two whole minutes just to prove that I could. And I actually felt better at the end of that two minutes.”
“I had been thinking how we spend every waking minute of the day with access to an unlimited supply of information, to the point of information overload,” Alex Tew explained his inspiration for the site, which brought in 20,000 unique visitors 8 hours after launch, to Techcrunch.
“I also read somewhere that there is evidence that our brains are being re-wired by the internet, because we get a little dopamine kick every time we check our e-mail or Twitter or Facebook and there’s a new update. So we’re all developing a bit of ADD, which is probably not great in terms of being productive.”
Tew also holds that the key difference in the way we interact online between when he built MillionDollarHomepage.com in 2005 is that the ‘viral has gone viral’, “Ideas spread even faster because of social media.”
“Whereas before, the distribution power lay more with the news media and blogs back in 2005. If I had done MillionDollarHomepage.com today, I might have made $1 million dollars in 4 weeks rather than 4 months.”
Of course, Alex Tew won’t make $1 million from this site – doing nothing for two minutes includes not watching any advertisements for two minutes either – well, no real advertisements, that is.
Howver, when the 2-minute timer stops, it’s replaced with a “Well Done” message, which links to share the site on Facebook and Twitter and a link to some relaxation books on Amazon. [Do Nothing For 2 Minutes via TechCrunch and ZD Net]