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One of the single most important works ever in modern management literature is a paper titled "Marketing Myopia," by Theodore Levitt. He had an amazing revelation--revolutionary at the time. Put quite simply, most companies have no idea what business they're in.
His classic example is the railroad industry. The railroads revolutionized the world when they began crisscrossing industrialized nations in the 19th century. Without them, the industrial revolution wouldn't have been possible. Today, railroads are an anachronism. They still exist, but it's mostly inertia that keeps them alive. You see, the railroad companies made the fatal mistake of thinking they were in the railroad business. The fools! They should have realized that they're in the transportation business. So when a combination of trucking and air transport began to transform the way people travel and ship goods in the 20th century, the railroads were left behind. They could have kept up, but they didn't. There are still nations on earth where the railroads carry the lion's share of the transportation work. But in the United States, they became dinosaurs--because they didn't realize what business they were in. ...
The New York Times, Time Magazine, NBC, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Captain's Quarters... they're not in the news paper business, the magazine business, the broadcast news business, the cable news business, the talk radio business, or the blog business. They're in the information business. Only most of them don't seem to realize it.
I don't want to give away the candy store here, because Beck's analysis of media in the present and future is, I believe, highly prescient. Read the whole thing, and not just because he has such nice things to say about Captain's Quarters; you could easily plug a number of other blogs like Power Line, Instapundit, the entire Northern Alliance, and many others in the same category. On the other hand, you could just as easily replace the Times and the Post with any other broadsheet or broadcaster, because they are all similarly clueless to Beck's warning.Sphere It View blog reactions
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