I grew up in Nebraska and Iowa. The land of corn and farmers. My uncle, a farmer in Nebraska, was the first person to show me many, many years ago, how you could see the prices of grain online from his computer in a closet.
At that time, John Deere was connecting their sales teams to the farmers in the field. The salesmen took their portable computers out to the fields to show farmers photos of the parts they could order for their tractors.
I co-authored a “best seller” in the French business-techno world: “L’avantage internet pour l’entreprise” published by Dunod in 1996. It was the first book in French that talked about internet and intranet from a non-technical perspective. I included a John Deere case study which showed how the customer-facing workforce was on the front lines of technology!
My grandfather, who bought the first John Deere tractor in his part of Nebraska many years ago, surely met one of these salespeople!