in the Wall Street Journal in the Wall Street Journal was mentioned in The Wall Street Journal Online on September 8, 2006. Here is an excerpt from the article. The full article is only available to subscribers at

Not Letting Success
Get to Your Head
By Emily Meehan
The Wall Street Journal
September 8, 2006

Rhett Butler in Costa Rica, 2000
High school reunions promise a treasure of surprises about former classmates, whether they invented a new type of digital movie camera, starred in a shampoo commercial or just got divorced for the third time. But there was no need for Rhett Butler to update many people at his 10-year high school reunion at Menlo-Atherton High School last month in Atherton, Calif.

Mr. Butler says many of his former classmates approached him to talk about an article they had read about the 28-year-old entrepreneur and his Web site,, in the San Francisco Chronicle... When Mr. Butler was in Paris earlier this year, a woman shouted at him from across the Champs Elysée: "Mongabay!," and later told him how she recognized his face from the site.

Money, power, and influence aren't typically associated with twentysomethings, and those who have early success often have a bad rap. Popular culture has provided us with few examples of humble young people and plenty of obnoxious hot-shots. It's often assumed that those in leadership roles have won their status through family money, nepotism or both. But not every young success story has to feature an inflated ego.

Mr. Butler says he has been financially independent from his parents since he was 18 and now earns a "comfortable" living from selling ad space on his Web site that he estimates reaches an average audience of 600,000 unique visitors a month, based on internal tracking at the site. The site features environmental science writing and research by Mr. Butler culled in large part from his exploratory trips to various international ecosystems. Mr. Butler says the site... is mainly a one-man show with few overhead costs...

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