When I was studying Marketing in college (long before there was anything called the Internet and Personal Computers were something only the Jetsons had in TV land) we were assigned to research an area of marketing that was of interest, and prepare a paper on how it applied to today’s market. My project was on Marketing Myopia, based on a paper written by Theodore Levitt. This paper was published in the Harvard Business Review, a journal of which he was an editor. What’s amazing to me is that the paper was written in 1960, but it continues to apply to business today.
Basically the paper discusses how businesses are too restricted in their thinking and continuously miss opportunities by not “thinking out of the box.” Hence, why I also used the theme song from one of my favorite bands Led Zeppelin. I know I bring up the music business often in my posts. I just can’t think of another industry that could be so narrow in their thinking that by the time the Internet was adopted by over 50% of homes in the U.S., it was too late for them to adopt a new distribution strategy and fully recover. And that was almost 40 years after Levitt’s paper was published. Often I wonder how many corporate decision makers I will encounter that will fall into the same predicament.
Our charter in business development for SharedBook is to work with progressive companies that have a strong online presence with good content that can be utilized offline in book form. Our job is to convey how our software can monetize online assets that otherwise would lay dormant, as well as extend brands. The good news is that a lot of businesses understand the importance of adopting new Web 2.0 strategies. We have some terrific marketing partners here at SharedBook and I am sure there will be many more to come. However, as influential as Levitt’s work was, does the song remain the same? Stay tuned!