The Motley Fool is celebrating 15 Years of Foolishness. Grab your party hats and relive a decade and a half of education, amusement, and enrichment.
If you've checked out the recently updated "About Us" section of Fool.com, then you might already know that The Motley Fool's vision is "to build the world's greatest investment community." The company's been on that quest for 15 years now. And while we feel like we're well on our way to achieving the goal -- heck, Forbes consistently rates The Motley Fool community tops in its "Best of the Web" report -- we know that to be the world's greatest anything, the work never stops. You've got to keep growing, improving, evolving.
For a Web-oriented company like ours, there's probably no more tangible evidence of community than message boards. With a bit of research, it's easy to see just how much growing, improving, and evolving we've done since The Fool was founded (appropriately enough, as a "bulletin board" on AOL) some 15 years ago. Since the fresh-faced Gardner brothers scratched those first, pioneering messages into the Internet frontier in 1993, more than 17 million posts have followed. Many came from David and Tom, but many more were written by members of our globe-spanning community.
The subjects range even wider: from shrill attacks on the "fat cats" of Wall Street to a remarkable grassroots campaign that led to the passage of the SEC's "Regulation Full Disclosure" in Y2K; from the discovery of a little upstart company called Iomega to the tar-and-feathering of a disgraced giant called Enron; from ways to fire your broker to methods for quitting smoking; from advice on surviving the Internet bust of 2001 to encouraging words about the meltdown of 2008.
These days, an average of 100,000 messages per month are posted to our thousands of active boards, each one monitored by our team of 50 or so strollers, who make sure every remark -- whether glowing recommendation or furious flame -- is delivered with decorum.
And 15 years in, that may be what makes us proudest of our community. While we're a passionate, opinionated bunch -- especially when it comes to our stocks -- we also show each other a lot of respect, and we care about the result of all the discussion. Barron's picked up on that in a 2006 article: "The Motley Fool has succeeded in the hardest part of building useful bulletin boards -- attracting informed, responsive members." So, whether you post frantically every day, or simply like to lurk and listen, thanks for helping us build the world's greatest investment community. Here are 15 great posts drawn from the archives that show just how far we've come together.
- Jan. 24, 1997: Iomega on Early Message Boards
- Oct. 5, 2000: Tech Bubble Collapsing
- Dec. 26, 2000: Celera Genome Sequencing
- Feb. 26, 2001: Long Strategy/Question Analysts
- Sept. 12, 2001: 9/11 Terrorism
- Dec. 10, 2002: A Canadian's Philosophy
- April 4, 2003: Corporate Ethics/Sarbanes-Oxley
- April 30, 2003: Special Forces Report From Iraq
- May 28, 2004: Krispy Kreme Kollapse
- Dec. 19, 2005: Financial State of the Government
- March 9, 2006: Call to Community on 401(k)s
- July 31, 2007: Market Jibber-Jabber
- April 30, 2008: Visiting Motley Fool HQ
- Sept. 24, 2008: Surviving Recession/Depression
- Oct. 11, 2008: Thank you, Motley Fool