Hidden In Plain Sight: A Million Dollar Mistake

There’s Millions Inside Them There Mistakes!

There are very few ideas that cannot be imitated, duplicated, copied or bested. But there is one man who had such an idea. An idea so good that it befuddled his competition. Hidden in plain sight. Waiting to be discovered.

The idea was based on a mistake.  A mistake that millions of people make every day.  In a hurry to type in the .com at the end of some website addresses, an awful lot of people type .cm instead of .com.  So you end up seeing a website you didn’t intend to see, or you see a message telling you that there’s no website at this address.

But it seems that ".cm" is a special mistake.  Every country has it’s own offical "domain suffix".  The UK is ".co.uk", German is ".de", and as it turns out, ".cm" is the offical domain suffix for the country of Cameroon.  This small twist made one man, a Christian, very rich.  Let’s find out why…

Revelation Knowledge

So one day, this idea hit him.  What if there were some way to capture all those mis-typed .cm mistakes that people make every day?  Upon finding out that .cm was the official suffix of Cameroon, he went and talked to the government officials there, and worked out a deal.  The deal went something like this.  Every time someone typed in a domain name ending in .cm, whether on purpose or by accident, the government would check to see if a real website existed in their country at that address.  If nobody had claimed that domain name yet, the person would instead see a page full of ads for this man’s company.

Try this out by visiting www.nolongerdriven.cm.

You’ll see that it forwards you to his company’s page full of ads.  His ads.  You didn’t mean to go there, but you see the ads anyway.  This is a very powerful thing.  Because for every person that mis-typed .cm instead of .com, they’d see this same page.  That’s over 7 million people a day.  It’s like having a website that everyone wants to visit.

One Time Only

To get a sense of the magnitude of his idea, understand that this "idea based on a mistake" could only happen one time.  There is no way to mis-type .net, or .org and get a combination of letters that happens to be assigned to a country.  There was ONE TIME that this could work.  When he made this deal, it could not be imitated, duplicated, copied, or bested. 

He had essentially found a way to get more than 7 million people every day looking, and clicking on his ads.  He now makes in excess of 70 million dollars a year, due in no small part to that mistake.   A mistake that had been around for years and years.  A mistake that any one in that business could have seen.  But nobody did.  And God showed it too him.


Next time I’ll talk about how this type of revelation has brought a sense of purpose and cohesiveness to my own life over the past 3 months.



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