Me: Hey look at this ad, a seminar on how to get rich fast and easy. This guy is gonna teach you how to earn expensive properties without having to pay.
My Alter Ego: Yeah right, dream on.
Me: See? That’s why you’re still a corporate slave after years of career. You don’t have an entrepreneurial mind.
My Alter Ego: I may not, but at least I’m not fooled by some ad that shows a guy in suit with a weird grin on his face.
Me: Now you’re being sarcastic
My Alter Ego: May be, I don’t really care. These people deserve it.
Anyway, that’s not my point.
Me: I’m listening.
My Alter Ego: There’s nothing new under the sun. You wanna get rich? Be smart, work hard.
Me: No, the ad says we can get rich fast and easy
My Alter Ego: Sure, marry one of the Bakrie’s girls then
Me: They’re taken already. Seriously, man, what’s your point?
My Alter Ego: Ok, have you heard about information asymmetry?
Me: Well I guess it’s something to do with a situation in which a party has more information compared to its competitors.
My Alter Ego: Exactly. Information gap. The wider the gap, the bigger advantage you’re gonna get from the market.
Me: Plain english please?
My Alter Ego: Zuckerberg got rich because he was the one who succesfully packaged and sold social networking even before people started thinking about it. Of course there was Friendster before Facebook, but they didn’t do it right from the beginning, they missed their chance.
Me: Hang on, what about Twitter? More people are switching to twitter after they get bored with facebook.
My Alter Ego: Twitter explored even further need of human being: recognition. It indulges your narcissism by those following-follower things. The idea was so genuine, and most importantly nobody saw it coming. Information asymmetry.
Me: Then there come the followers …
My Alter Ego: Correct. People start to be aware about the opportunity. They jump into the business. The gap is narrowing, the competition is getting more crowded, and you’re gonna end up sharing the margin of the business with your competitors.
Me: So basically if you’re doing same old shit that others have been doing, you may survive the competition but are not gonna be like Gates or Rockfeller.
My Alter Ego: Aha, you’re getting smarter
Me: I’m not sure if that’s a compliment, but thanks. So that was how Ford, Bill Gates, and all those “inventors” made all their fortune?
My Alter Ego: You’re right. That’s the “advantage of the first mover” principle. For sure not all first movers succeeded, friendster for instance, but at least they had their chance.
Me: Ok, assuming you’re right…
My Alter Ego: I am right
Me: Shut up. Assuming you’re right, there’s no fast and easy way of getting rich, unless you know something that others don’t, then what are these rain-maker hot shots teaching in the seminar?
My Alter Ego: I don’t know, but unless they teach you how to turn water into gasoline or how to extract gold out of metal, you’re wasting your time.
Anyway, they might ask you to join some sort of MLM-type business or even a Ponzi scheme.
Me: Ponzi scheme?
My Alter Ego: Good God, no wonder Madoff made millions of dollar from people like you. Ponzi scheme is an investment product that offers ridiculously high returns, which actually are paid from the investor’s own money or the money paid by subsequent investors.
Me: Wow, is that illegal?
My Alter Ego: What do you mean by “is that illegal”? Of course that’s illegal by any legal system on the planet.
Me: Wait, are you accusing them of committing a fraud?
My Alter Ego: No, I am not. Why would I? I haven’t even been to their gathering.
Me: Yes, but sounds to me you hate them so much.
My Alter Ego: “Hate” would not be the right term, they’re not that important.
Tell me, how would you feel about a person who threw Rp100 million bank notes out of a chopper for publicity, so that people attend his seminar, while millions of people out there were breaking their back to earn Rp10,000 a day.
Me: Your point is taken.
Now, you said you haven’t been to their seminar, then how do you know so much about their business?
My Alter Ego: It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
Me: Oh great. One last question?
My Alter Ego: Sure
Me: Are you always this annoying?