Stefan, today the managing director at BSZ, still recalls how it all began. His grades were quite good – considering how much of his free time was spent in studying the New Market and evaluating stocks. Gradually, he immersed himself deeper and deeper in this new world. His dream was to become a day trader. He began forgetting to do his homework. And instead of copying from friends on the school bus on the way to school, he preferred to watch TV a bit longer. Because in the morning, the electronic tickertape flickered across the screen. When he had collected as much information as possible, he’d go to school in a taxi. That got around pretty soon. "Then people started speculating about how I’d changed," he recalls today. "That thing with the taxi didn’t last long. But they wanted to know why I was constantly fiddling around with my pager during class. Suddenly, what they’d regarded as my little quirks were big issues."

In the eyes of his fellow students, Stefan was a show-off. He discovered his interest in the adult world at an early age, and began to behave accordingly. He always came off as a know-it-all. For instance, when they were planning a school trip, he kept talking about renting a hotel room – with internet access, of course. When the New Market gold rush began, nobody saw much of him at school. Instead, his father showed up. He wanted to take all kinds of courses – after all, there were some good adult education classes. In no time, Dad had switched to the fast lane and had only one aim: to be like Stefan. He got up a few hours before his son, did his morning workout, and then went jogging in the woods, to lake Preber. He wanted to feel really young again. So after the exhausting sweat bath came telelearning. After showering, Dad sat in front of the TV, concentrating intently. The name of the program that teleported professors from all over the world via satellite dish into his living room was Comenius. Dad watched Dr. Vega’s lips for hours, repeated sounds and sentences after him. Every world citizen needed to know Spanish, he was told. Dad had goal after goal, kept a daily record of his athletic and intellectual progress. Soon he was ready for the BSZ courses. When he registered for school again, at the age of 52, it was clear to him that he would see less of his son for the time being. He was used to loneliness (his wife, Stefan’s mother, hadn’t been around for a long time). Plus, everything has its price, he told himself. Everything would turn out fine. Some day he would reach his goal and would stand face to face with his son. Not as a farmer. No, as a stockbroker.

At last, the day came. Stefan was happy about it at first. He proudly told his fellow students that Dad flew to Frankfurt now and then – on business, naturally. But soon he began to feel worried. His father had become so easy-going. It was as if he spoke his language; he knew the ins and outs of the generation@ and in his sheer hunger for knowledge always tried to learn more from Stefan, while trying to give him some advice about m-commerce in an unexpected moment. They even occasionally discussed the divide, and his father seemed to be an equal partner in these talks. But at some point, Stefan got tired of it. His dad wouldn’t stop pestering him. They had grown too similar. There were hardly any differences any more. It had definitely gone too far for Stefan. One day, he lost it. After school, he ran into his father who was happily on his way to class. The unavoidable escalation occurred. Dad had actually dared to don Stefan’s favorite Carhartt T-shirt, without even bothering to ask permission. After a scuffle in the school foyer, which neither of them won, he swore to fight his father every step of the way – and from then on, to wear only suits.