Back then in November 2009, I was a 14-year-old teenager and I was building stuff on the Facebook Platform. Normally I was developing stupid apps, that tell you some random stuff, like from 0% to 100%, how handsome are you? The kind of games your grandma or aunt play on Facebook today.
I didn’t have a lot of technical experience building stuff, I have been programming in Visual Basic for four years and I started with PHP and web development around one year ago.
One day I come with the idea to build a super simple game. It took me literally three or four hours build it. It was a button, a timer counting down from 30 seconds to 0 and text that indicates how many clicks did you hit to the button.
That was the idea, how many times can you hit the button in 30 seconds. It was so simple that you need a few words and phrases to make it, so it was super simple to translate to other languages in a really easy way using Google Translate. I mean, translate the word “Time” to other languages would be super accurate because it’s only one world.
Clickometro takes advantage of a feature that allows the user to share their score on his wall, that means all their friends are going to see he/she was playing the game and how many clicks they perform. So the idea was for everybody who see a friend is playing the game, to play and compete to see if you can score higher, so normally if you do that, you are going to tag your friend.
I monetized the game using Google Adsense, and I promoted the game in a forum called Taringa!, this was the original post (in Spanish). No comments or likes in the forum post, but I got around 100 visitors, the first 100 players.
At that time I was assisting in high school from 7am to 3pm, so the first day when I come from the school to my place I saw around 100 visitors on Google Analytics. The next day I saw 500, and the next I say around 7000. After two weeks the game was played by more than one million users in more than 90 countries worldwide.
It was not a game that you can play every single day, like Farm Ville in that time. So I got a lot of traffic and some income from the ads. I was 14 and at that point, I generated three or four times more money in a single week than my parents in a whole month. That was my very first experience earning money on the Internet.
Clickometro was so popular than even some people add videos to YouTube explaining how to hack it.
It is amazing to see 4.000 views on that video! And a few comments here is another video from a different version:
Here are a few tweets from 2009:
Making this game was a super important milestone in my life and in my career, let me explain why.
First of all, I was 14 years old teenagers that was spending too much time on the computer. For my parents, at this point, I was playing a lot of games on the computer all day long instead of being with my friends playing, doing some sport and going outside. Now it’s clear to understand their worries respect my situation. I wasn’t playing games at all, I didn’t like then and I don’t like now playing video games.
I was working on my own version of an open-source video game and trying to build my own video games. It was a very conflictive time between me and my parents since I really wanted to keep doing what I love. We had a lot of discussions about that. Until I made Clickometro and show them that I was able to make money. Don’t make me wrong, money was not important but the fact of being able to live from your passion was!
Making Clickometro was a breakpoint between me and my relationship with my parents. They start to respect more of what I do and feeling more confident about my future.
This experience teaches me that you can do what you love for a living, so it was a really first “big hit” for me. From that point, I start to be more secure about what I wanted to do with my life and professional career.
Earning money with such a simple HTML + JS project at a young age was critical for me since I start to think it was possible to do useful stuff for people on the Internet and get paid for that.
Finally, a few years later I can see what my parent point for being a lot of time on the computer or working. Taking some time off, walk around or just doing nothing is an important thing for me today, it helps me to clear my mind and relax, so after doing this I can be more productive and have a different focus and point of view about a problem or situation.