Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

Blinking and Tipping

I've finished reading Malcolm Gladwells "The Tipping Point" and "Blink".

Does it make me a geek if I start researching "diffusion theory"?

One of the most famous diffusion studies is Bruce Ryan and Neal Gross's analysis of the spread of hybrid seed corn in Greene County,Iowa, in the 1930s. The new corn seed was introduced in Iowa in 1928, and it was superior in every respect to the seed that had been used by farmers for decades before. But it wasn't adopted all at once. Of the 259 farmers studied by Ryan and Gross, only a handful had started planting the new seed by 1932 and 1933· In 1934, 16 took the plunge. In 1935, 21 followed, then 36, and the year after that a whopping 61 and then 46, 36, 14, and 3, until by 1941, all but two of the 259 farmers studied were using the new seeds.

I was pretty early on PCs, the Internet, and the commodity bull market so I think I'm one of those early Early Adopters. I like Innovators and I think I've launched a couple of innovative ideas in my field but mostly I'm an Early Adopter.

If you were trying to make a living selling hybrid corn there were many lean years. The trick is to survive and not self-destruct before the idea gets adopted.