German-born thinker Theodore Levitt's groundbreaking 1960 article Marketing Myopia established him as a world-famous business figure and led to him being dubbed "the father of modern marketing." At the time he published the piece, marketing did not even exist as a separate business discipline.
Recognizing that companies went bust when the market for their products dried up, Levitt set to finding out why. He wrote Marketing Myopia as a manifesto, aiming to upend the conventional company wisdom that viewed its product as paramount. Levitt found this thinking shortsighted. He saw the customer as central to the success of any business and urged companies in every industry to look at their products from the customers' point of view.
Levitt's straightforward writing style and real-world case studies quickly captured the attention of business people, while the academic community finally began to see "marketing" as a discipline worthy of study. His groundbreaking article became part of the core curriculum at business schools.