Many of you may remember how bitter and angry the late Steve Jobs was over what he considered the outright theft of iPhone technology by search giant Google.
Specifically, the Apple co-founder was quoted by biographer Walter Isaacson as saying:
"I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I'm going to destroy Android because it's a stolen product. I'm willing to go to thermonuclear war on this. They are scared to death because they know they are guilty."
Jobs, of course, didn't live to fulfill his irrational threat ("I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank"? Really? Apple's shareholders and board may not have been totally down with that). He died last October following a long struggle with cancer.
But Jobs's angry words live on to be exploited by someone trying to make money off them. I found an ad on The Motley Fool with the headline, "Steve Jobs' Final Betrayal," after which comes the following text:
You may already know that in the final year of his life, Jobs revealed a stunning betrayal -- and told his biographer, "I will spend my last dying breath ... and every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank to right this wrong." What was it that made Jobs so irate -- and why could it make a few in-the-know investors some major profits over the coming months and years?Click here to find out -- before it's too late
I did indeed know about the stunning betrayal and the source of Jobs's irateness. But little did I realize that I could leverage this knowledge as one of the few "in-the-know" investors to make some "major profits."
I had to learn more! So I clicked on the video, after being forced by Motley Fool to give it my email address. But before I could view the incredible, life-changing video, I was asked to "answer 5 quick questions so we can better serve you."
Having determined that I could best be served by being able to watch the video I came for, I was starting to become familiar with irate. Then I saw a "Skip this page" link. Now I could avoid the sales-pitch nonsense.
Not quite. Even though the new page assured I was "just seconds away from accessing your free report," I had to say "yes" or "no" to offers from Investor's Business Daily, Cabot Wealth Advisory and Forex Starter Trading Kit. No, no and no.
Finally, the video. Which is interminable. The speaker drones on and on with way too much sales set-up, like a multilevel marketing presentation or a timeshare pitch; if I hadn't decided to blog about it, I would have bailed in the first five minutes.
But I stuck it out through references to this or that "legendary" analyst or investor who thinks the unnamed company being touted is just waiting to enrich a lucky few shrewd investors.
And it turned out to be a total waste of my time! The entire video was a come-on to subscribe to The Motley Fool's Rule Breakers investment newsletter. The company with which viewers were being teased appears to be a manufacturer of cellular transmission sites. But I'll never know the name of the company because it wasn't mentioned in the video and I'm not downloading the "free" report.
As for how Steve Jobs's "final vendetta" fits into the picture, it doesn't. The entire premise behind investing in this mysterious company is that cell phone use will continue to grow and more transmission sites will be needed -- both of which would be true whether Jobs declared thermonuclear war on Google or adopted Larry Page as his son.
In other words, the ad is bogus. And so, apparently, is The Motley Fool.