“Interesting. Sex works even better than chocolate to modify behaviour. I wonder if anyone else has stumbled onto that.”
- Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) in The Big Bang Theory.
In The Cluetrain Manifesto, four tech-savvy thinkers, back in April 1999, suggested how the Internet was going to change everything, not least business as usual. A latter-day reworking of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, the Cluetrain Manifesto posited that
All markets are conversations
and went on to argue that
The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
Their argument struck a chord with this correspondent, who at the time was advising wealthy investors who were clients of Merrill Lynch Private Banking in London. It became clear that something tangible was shifting the tectonic plates of finance when, shortly afterwards, the market capitalisation of Merrill Lynch, with its 13,000-strong army of US financial consultants, was overtaken by the market capitalisation of Charles Schwab, the leading online (and no frills) broker of the time. This correspondent didn’t need to be told twice, so fairly soon after that he elected to abandon the thundering herd and take his chances in the New Economy, and with a new business..
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