Remember when privacy was a thing?
2006, America was hungry for leverage and risk. Valueforum was the place to go to discuss retail investments. It had paywalls to keep the riffraff out; serious investors did not want to share their ideas with the pedestrian class.
Then Twitter came along. As if Facebook friends weren’t enough, now people could broadcast their personal lives to the world. Why would anyone want that, the old people asked.
One old person took the Twitter API and turned it into a financial news network curated by the masses. Everyone knew that Jim Cramer and Larry Kudlow spent their careers spouting nonsense; Stocktwits simply democratized that opportunity.
Funny thing, when you get large numbers of people working collaboratively, they come up with better insights than the ideas out of Cramer’s orifice.
Previously, whisper numbers were quietly circulated among the privileged on Wall Street. Then a former Stocktwits team member founded Estimize — any homeless person with an internet connection could submit their own earnings forecasts, and be heard.
For a long time we fooled ourselves into believing that information was special, and if you’ve got something good, you keep it for yourself. The internet taught us that the world is a pretty big place. No single thought is ever unique. The only thing left to do is make sure others recognize that we thought of it first.
Hence the race to document ideas on Twitter, on Estimize, on Sand Hill Exchange. If you’ve got something good, make sure the whole world knows you’ve got it.