Remembering Theodore Levitt

When I started learning  the first principles of marketing at my  B-School, I was fascinated by an extremely insightful & thought provoking article called "Marketing Myopia". It gave me a new perspective about how companies should look at their business and what myopic marketing thoughts  could do to companies. I have never forgotten Ted Levitt since then. He is no more with us but his thinking will always remain with us forever.

Here’s a tribute from NY Times on the man and his contribution to management thinking across the world:

Mr. Levitt, known as Ted, gained widespread attention for his marketing insights in 1960, the year after he joined the Harvard faculty. He published an article called "Marketing Myopia" in The Harvard Business Review that criticized business executives for too narrowly defining what their companies did. He argued, for instance, that the railroad industry had lost customers to the airlines, trucking and auto industries in part because its top executives thought they were in the business of running trains instead of providing transportation.

More than 1,000 companies ordered 35,000 reprints in the weeks after publication, a total that has since risen to 850,000 reprints, according to The Harvard Business Review.

His concept that business was becoming globalized, which Mr. Levitt defined as the changes in technology and social behaviors that allow multinational companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s to sell the same products worldwide, first appeared in a 1983 Harvard Business Review article "The Globalization of Markets." In his sweeping style, he said, "Gone are accustomed differences in national or regional preferences."

May his soul rest in peace.

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