The term “marking myopia” is fairly new to me, though the concept is something I’ve seen many times before.
Explained by Theodore Levitt, it’s essentially when a company focuses more on short-term sales than on really solving their consumers’ needs. It can work for a while, but it’s likely to blow up eventually. The two famous examples:
They pretended they were in the photography business, but really they were in the business of developing photos — and making huge money from the chemicals needed in that process.
They were the first to develop a digital camera, but always tried to force it back to people getting prints. A great example of this was when Kodak purchased Ofoto (a photo sharing site) in 2001. It could have been huge, but Kodak essentially just used it to try to get people to print more copies of their digital photos.
You see where Kodak is today.
Yahoo was similar. The banners on the Yahoo home page sold for extraordinary sums of money and made tons of profit for them. They really didn’t want companies to measure the effectiveness of those ads — they wanted customers to just feel proud to be on their home page and pay whatever it took to get there.
When Google started selling click-based ads, Yahoo held off for a long time, seemingly because being able to measure value would expose their ads as being incredibly overpriced.
Not “that” company
On the flip side, you have companies that don’t pin themselves in. Apple is a perfect example. Early on they were “Apple Computer”, but changed that name a few decades ago to just “Apple Inc”. They’re not in the business of selling you a Mac or an iPhone, but of selling you the experience of what you need.
As long as they push to do what’s best for their customers they should continue to ride this great wave they’re on, and you can do the same if you keep your focus in the right spot.