Markets are efficient thanks to the people who think they aren’t efficient.
It’s a paradox.
This simple tension is true in a lot of different domains.
When we think we’re providing a bad customer experience at Bottle, we start sending emails at 2am and start setting up phone calls with clients. We then get compliments on our service.
Henry Rollins was on Joe Rogan’s podcast this week. He told two stories.1
In the first, he was backstage with Ozzie Osbourne in Miami. Ozzie asked him, “Is anybody out there?” Henry replied, “Are you crazy? There’s 19,000 people out there!”
In a second story, he had the privilege of meeting George Carlin in a talk show green room. The night before, Rollins had performed at a theater that Carlin was performing at the following week. “Did they get your jokes?” Carlin asked Rollins. “Did the audience connect?”
These guys lived in fear that they weren’t any good anymore. They worried people would stop listening.
It’s like the efficient market hypothesis.
They were great because they never quite believed they were.