Theodore Levitt argued that the decline of businesses is usually not due to outmoded technologies, or even to changing markets and tastes. Instead, he said, growth stops and decline begins because top managers focus too narrowly on their existing product niche.
In another topic about postcard marketing, I sort of ranted about my observations of the "Internet Marketing" community that sort of triggered more thoughts about this that I felt deserved discussion from a completely different angle. (Plus, I didn't want to further hijack the original topic)
My posts in the other topic are in reaction to the almost comical way that a lot of individuals the "Internet Marketing" community sort of goes about, "inventing" things for itself, and then in a pitiful, self-aggrandizing fashion attempts to promulgate the almost arrogant elitism that businesspeople not in internet marketing are wholly ignorant or incapable because they don't know how to get onto to the front page of a Google search.
My thoughts about Old Ted's treatise started with my rant...
"That's the funny thing about this "internet marketing" crowd. It's pretty incestuous in its thinking. I think the fact that so many people involved in internet marketing live and breathe technology and bleeding edge stuff, that they lose sight and perspective of a much larger, pre-existing, very successful world that created multi-billion dollar, global corporate business giants. And just because the internet has brought more efficiency and metrics to certain aspects of marketing & sales, it doesn't mean that the rest of the world is somehow stupid or unsuccessful."
This was a response to the whole fanboy trend in direct mail marketing in the IM community, like somehow or another we've invented something new.
I came into the world of internet marketing as a successful entrepreneur (not Bill Gates, but not ashamed of myself either) and professional guy with a strong technology background and a deep, fundamental understanding of buying behavioral analysis and marketing process that existed long before internet technology. In the olden days, it was direct mail, phone rooms, and channel distribution. These days, it's email and JV affiliate programs.
The problem that I see is that as a lot of people try to swim upstream into the realm of broader, general marketing as a function of overall business process, they're further and further out of their element and understanding.
It's akin to a roofer trying to put shingles on a house that doesn't have a proper foundation poured yet. We don't build houses from the top down. At least if we want the house to last.
Likewise, we don't build a business by starting with some tool, trick, or technology... at least if we want the business to be more than an extemporaneous cult of personality or lasting asset that extends beyond a name or cool web video blog post. (no offense intended to well-known marketing guys that I like and respect) Businesses start with a customer that has a need or want, and a willingness to pay someone to solve that need or want. It's customer focused... not technology or technique focused.
I challenge every single Warrior on this forum to spend some time, thinking about your perspective and motivations, and how you're going about trying to build your business. I see a lot of people getting in to internet marketing, and even touting themselves as marketing gurus, who literally have no idea what they're doing past some tricks and techniques spawned from the latest technology trends. I even see more people advising other business clients who really need to read a book about business fundamentals before meeting with another client prospect.
Now, I am not trying to be obtuse or suggest that fueled with Tony Robbins' latest videos, people shouldn't fly to the highest of heights and achieve great success.
Go for it.
Just don't get all "Uncle Daddy" incestuous in your thinking because you're not also looking to a much bigger world of business experience out there.
...one that long pre-dated the internet.