Re: Adam Rifkin and the "Greater Fool" Theory.

Adam Rifkin (
Thu, 11 Feb 1999 14:17:01 -0800 (PST)

Rohit wrote:
> Jane, at least include the full text of any hosannas for the forkchive!
> Adam, I'm glad you have your health back.

You know what the ironic thing about my involvement with The Motley Fool
is? I joined that community in October 1998 solely as a newfound hobby
to keep my spirits up while I was ill. There I could cybertalk with a
bunch of strangers about business, and learn a little for myself in the

[Rohit had once told me that if/when I ever got out of school, I should
learn how business works, so I decided when the illness began to
jump-start the process.]

> "Every Time a Friend Succeeds, I Die A Little Inside,"
> Rohit Khare

Aw, c'mon Rohit, this isn't success. Success is you getting on
Cringelyvision alongside the Excitillionaires, being a part of history
as it's being written. I'm not even a footnote.

I wasn't even going to point that little writeup out to anyone -- but in
the back of my head I was wondering just how small cyberspace was (i.e.,
how long before someone from Caltech, FoRK, dist-obj, voxers, gen-x, or
someone else I knew happened to find the article). I got the first
email the same day. But the "grand outing" took five days (thanks,
Dave). On the Internet nothing remains a secret for long.

So what is this "success" really? This was just me growing an
infatuation with how companies like Microsoft, Intel, Cisco, Dell,
Lucent, Sun, Oracle, America Online, Yahoo, Amazon, CMGi, and Apple
bootstrapped themselves up from nothing to some of the most powerful
companies in the world in a relatively short amount of time. Studying
these companies as *businesses* shows you just how savvy their upper
management is with the technologies they're creating.

There was also within me a desire to understand a little better the mass
psychology of the stock market. I wanted to know why Rohit was pulling
his money out of the S&P 500 Index. I wanted to know why Dan pulled all
of his money out of the market and decided to short eBay. I wanted to
know how the market treats IPOs. I wanted to know why Greg thought the
Dow would hit 9600 and then hit 6400. I wanted to know how Joe could
make what seems to me like an infinite amount of money (for all intents
and purposes) in the last seven years (the trick, I've learned, is to
invent a time machine and join Microsoft seven years ago).

I'm finally beginning to have a small amount of insight into those
things. It's absolutely fascinating -- and I attribute my recovery in
part to the happiness I got with this new hobby. Thank you, technology

So you shouldn't die a little inside, Rohit. You were the encouragement
I needed to start learning about business in the first place. I owe it
to you. Meanwhile, I'm getting a little more insight into what I want
to do if/when I ever get out of school. Rohit, I'll call you soon about
this (and about my thesis, which I talked with Mani about on Tuesday).
[My brother is in town right now, so it might be a little while more.]

Oh, two more things...

> A Foolish Interview with IFindKarma
> The Fool: If you could be the CEO of any public company, which one
> and why?
> IFindKarma: Instead of CEO, I'd like to be the righthand man to CMGi's
> CEO, David Wetherell. That guy is a genius.

What do you think, too much brown nosing here? Do you really know
someone at CMGi who could offer me a job?

> ...
> My favorite online community since 1995 has been FoRK -- Friends of
> Rohit Khare -- whose archives are available at:

What do you think, too much brown nosing *here*? Gotten any requests to
join from someone because of this?

I first got sick when that Clinton 4-hour videotape first came
available. I'm in full recovery mode now that the impeachment trial in
the senate is almost over. I can't believe the teflon here -- Clinton's
going to escape this whole thing without a scratch. Unbelievable.
And Byars was right when he called it in August, it all came down to

Man, FoRK could really use a digest-mode... *wink*


If A equals success, then the formula is A = X + Y + Z. X is work. Y
is play. Z is keep your mouth shut.
-- Albert Einstein