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By Jud Banks
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Have you ever noticed ... how something "new" is usually viewed with suspicion and dis-trust until people become familiar with it? This is human (or animal) nature and cannot be discounted. Successful marketers know this and devise strategies to shorten the time a new product takes to become accepted.

There are dozens of examples. "Fads" begin among teenagers, who, having nothing to un-learn, quickly embrace new products, new ideas. Many fad-products are first introduced in Japan and spread rapidly throughout the world.

One needs only to look at the Internet, something that was very avant-garde as little as four years ago, but today it is taken for granted. While it didn't start among teenagers, nor in Japan, its world-wide growth has been explosive!

What brought about this phenomenal acceptance - and how can one profit from it?


Once upon a time, there was a colony of 100 monkeys that lived next to a stream, which coursed through the jungle. The trees bore abundant fruit and the monkeys were well fed.

But the monkeys, like some of their human cousins, were sloppy eaters. They frequently dropped their food to the jungle floor where it got dirty and insects pounced on it almost as soon as it hit the ground. A monkey who dropped his food and retrieved it had to eat it - dirt, insects and all, or pick it clean before he could resume his lunch.

There came a day when one little monkey dropped his morsel. When it hit the ground, it bounced into the stream. The monkey scampered down from the tree and grabbed it back out of the water. Voila! No dirt, no insects. It was tasty indeed! Soon, whenever he dropped his dinner to the jungle floor, he was taking it to the stream and washing it off instead of picking off the insects and dirt as did his brethren.

Monkeys are not stupid people and the others learned very fast from the example of the one who first discovered that food tastes better when it's clean. Soon they were all taking their dropped food to the stream and washing it off. In fact, they started washing it even BEFORE they dropped it!


Thus the "Legend of the 100th Monkey." It can be applied to marketing efforts. All that is needed is for ONE person to be the adventurer, and soon there are throngs of followers.

Already electronic books are appearing on the Internet, available by downloading or to be read directly on-line, or on Compact Disks. CD versions of encyclopedia and research material have been around almost as long as the CD-ROM drive. The National Geographic magazine has put its entire collection - back to the year 1901 - on CD and markets it through computer stores.

Much informational content is now being distributed exclusively in electronic form.

Computers are as ubiquitous as television and radio sets. They're being given away free with subscriptions to Internet services, much as cellular phones are given to customers who will sign up for a year's service.

Books on tape have been available for many years, but they were not readily accepted when they were new. Part of the resistance was due to a reluctance to change established habit. But at one time, even printed books were a rarity. People were used to being TOLD stories, and few could read. Of course that changed over time.

Then those who read books avoided books on tape because they viewed it as a step backward. Many felt a loss of intimacy with the printed word that they could read at their own pace and that allowed them to paint their own "mind-pictures" of the activity being described.

Then came movies based on books, and the screen-writer's interpretation of the author's words don't always agree with those of the viewer who has "read the book."

With E-Books one still can read. If he wants, he can have the printed word to read from.

But just as e-mail has supplanted written correspondence to a great degree, gaining knowledge by reading from the computer screen has become commonplace.

Some have said that nothing can take the place of sitting in a chair and reading a book to a child.They're absolutely right. But the truth is that the computer already has become the learning center in millions of homes. Adding E-Books to one's educational toolbox can only enrich the lives and enjoyment of families everywhere.

About the Author
Jud Banks,
e-mail -
Join the Computer Age and Purchase On-Line -- Visit: ( Have you written something you want published? Take a look here: (


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