April 26, 2018

Value story from reader Daniel Smith

Reader Daniel Smith sent in this great story about an eccentric gold prospector named Harold Bell Lasseter that (shared with permission, edited slightly for clarity):

Hi Jonathan, I just got back from a 4wd expedition on roads less traveled through the centre of Australia. On the journey we came across “Lasseter’s Cave” with a story that I thought might resonate with you and your audience. Cut/paste below: ---- It was while prospecting for rubies as a young man in 1897 that Lasseter got lost and, while trying to find his way, came across the fabled gold deposit. Rescued by an Afghan camel driver, he returned to the spot three years later but incorrectly recorded its location. Then, in 1930, during the Great Depression, he persuaded a group of Sydney businessmen to fund a quest for the hidden treasure. The expedition was a disaster; Lasseter fell out with his companions, who deserted him one by one. He set off into the desert on his own, where his camels bolted, according to his diary, which was found in a cave. Left without supplies, he met a group of Aborigines who gave him food and shelter, but he died of exhaustion and malnutrition. One of his final diary entries read: “What good a reef worth millions? I would give it all for a loaf of bread.” ---- Millions in gold for a loaf of bread? Probably the most extreme example of value pricing, huh? :) —Daniel

Indeed. Timing has a lot to do with value - just try selling an umbrella to someone who’s already drenched to see what I mean.

As Shakespeare wrote:

“A horse, a horse! My kingdom for a horse!”

Thanks, Daniel!



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