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Paul Revere Internet Marketing and the 80/20 Rule

I’ll bet you thought you knew all about Paul Revere. He was, of course, responsible for inventing the Internet…uh, no… sorry, wrong turn. Not that he couldn’t have used Internet marketing principles, however, had the Internet been available. Putting an ad up on Google sure would have made life a lot easier than, say, getting captured by the British…not to mention a greater impact, as Internet marketing goes. But, his famous ride to awaken the colonists has historians - but not marketers – utterly baffled. Why? Let’s see first the problem … then how marketing (particularly Internet marketing principles) solves the problem.

Most historians don’t understand the 80/20 Rule. Don’t get me wrong. A lot of people don’t understand the implications of the 80/20 Rule. They don’t understand its recursive nature, the “64 – 4 Rule,” the “51.2 -0.

8 Rule,” “Sierpinski Triangles,” and so on. But, it’s really not necessary to understand all of that, anyway. What you should know is simple: the 80/20 Rule simply means 80% of your results will flow from 20% of your efforts. That’s the simplicity of the 80/20 Rule for Internet marketing…or anything else. Paul Revere understood the 80/20 Rule well, in concept. I bet he would have taken to Internet marketing too. You see, historians can’t understand why Paul Revere’s ride produced a word- of –mouth- epidemic (“buzz”) and why fellow yeller William Dawes’ ride did not. After all, Dawes traveled 17 miles on horseback that night. But, almost no one from the southerly circuit of towns he visited – towns like Roxbury, Brookline, Watertown, and Waltham – responded to the call. That’s the reason he goes as an unsung hero in our history.

I am a wandering, bitter shade, Never of me was a hero made; Poets have never sung my praise, Nobody crowned my brow with bays; And if you ask me the fatal cause, I answer only, "My name was Dawes" 'Tis all very well for the children to hear Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere; But why should my name be quite forgot, Who rode as boldly and well, God wot? Why should I ask? The reason is clear -- My name was Dawes and his Revere. History rings with his silvery name; Closed to me are the portals of fame. Had he been Dawes and I Revere, No one had heard of him, I fear. No one has heard of me because He was Revere and I was Dawes. (The Midnight Ride of William Dawes by Helen F. Moore -Century Magazine, 1896). Seems unfair. Many historians lament Dawes, the unrecognized hero. But, then again, the 80/20 Rule shows us that life is disproportionate in its results. That wasn’t Paul Revere’s only ride: You see, the 80/20 Rule teaches us one simple lesson and …several very powerful ones.

So don’t go away. The simple lesson? That’s easy. Focus and prioritize on what you do best. Each of us is, or should be, a specialist in a particular niche. In other words, very good in one area – and a “duck out of water” elsewhere. That was Paul Revere. As renowned historian David Hackett Fischer put it, unlike Dawes, Revere had an “uncanny genius for being in the center of events.” • From the Boston Tea Party to the Revolution, committees and congresses sprang up all over New England. Revere rode from one city to another, bearing messages and linking to each other. Consequently, he was well known.

• He rode to Philadelphia from Boston regularly carrying organizational messages. He rode from Boston to New Hampshire, from Boston to New York, and from Boston to just about anywhere in New England. • He connected people to people, and people to news and events. And he did it well. While 80% of the leadership belonged to but one committee, he was only one of two men who served on almost all of the committees in Boston. (80/20 Rule: The most accomplish the least. The least accomplish the most.) More popularly known as: “If you want something done well, give it to a busy person.” • He was a clearinghouse for information about the British.


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