Farm Boy From Iowa Teaches Fortune 500’s to Do Business

𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲: 3 minutes

Everett Rogers was a young farm boy from Iowa.

And he couldn’t understand why so many farmers wouldn’t adopt new trends that made growing corn and making money significantly easier.

So intrigued, that he devoted his life’s work to understanding one of the natural laws that makes what you and I do possible.

That is, building a flourishing business inside a tiny market.

Everett developed something that you’re likely to refer to again and again (if you aren’t already).

That something is called the adoption curve.

You are the innovator.

Your students, clients, and customers are the early adopters.

And your early adopters are the basis for your niche (more on niches in next week’s newsletter).

Anyway, back to Everett.

After timidly defending his doctoral thesis, he passed by a well established professor at his school who suggested that he might like to write a book about his “absurd” new idea.

And with some coaxing from his wife, eventually he did.

Soon after, his idea spread like wild-fire to early adopters in business, marketing, and public health.

And I simply can’t emphasize enough how essential this concept is to growing your business.

Truly understanding what causes ideas to spread is how a company like Apple was able to spark a movement and stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Even if they didn’t have the best product on the market.

But here’s the catch.

Everett wondered why some good ideas spread, while others, just as good, fade into obscurity.

So after many painful years of watching farmers grow corn. And many more filtering through mountains of research.

He recognized five universal elements that determine whether your idea will live or die.

And 99.99992% of people with an internet connection have never even heard of them.

So if you’ve got something remarkable to share, but your message isn’t spreading, and the people aren’t talking.

You’re not alone.

Most business owners have no idea that they need to clearly communicate these five elements to their potential customers, again and again.

1. Relative Advantage

Your biggest competition in business is often people choosing to do nothing instead.

If you’re in the business of inspiring people to take healthy action towards improving their lives.

Then doing nothing is often easier than coping with the tension required to make a change.

So you must make it painfully clear.

  • “Why this?”
  • “How is it better than what I’m already doing?”
  • “Why should I go through all the effort required to change?”

2. Compatibility

“Do people like us do things like this?” – Seth Godin

We’re moving further and further into the world of identity based branding.

A world where people are choosing to spend their money with people and businesses that align with their values.

And so it’s ever more important to let people know:

“How does this fit with my existing values, beliefs and experience of the world?”

3. Complexity

Growth is risky and change is complicated.

While humans are adaptive, it’s often easier to continue to do nothing.

To make no change and no commitment.

And most experts and professionals are so immersed in the techno-babble of their industry, that they forget there’s a significant gap between what they know, and what their customers know.

No doubt this has happened to you, some expert rambles on about the latest scientific finding or doo-dad and your eyes glaze over.

According to nobel-prize winning physicist, Richard Feynman:

“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

4. Trialability

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

We’re wired to resist change.

And the last thing in the world anyone wants to feel is doubt or uncertainty about what things will be like once they invite you or your products into their world.

So you must demonstrate cleary:

“What’s it going to be like?”

5. Observability

No one wants to spend their hard earned money on a terrible experience.

This is true no matter where you do business. But if you market your services anywhere remotely close to the internet, then you should know — trust is low and skepticism is high.

So In business, social proof wins.

Think about the last five purchases you made.

Was it the word of mouth recommendation or the five star reviews that sealed the deal?

You must let people know that they won’t be disappointed.



That’s it for today.

Lot’s of love,
Kevin