Discussed in 'The Practice of Management', by Peter Drucker:

‘What business are we in?’;

'What business SHOULD we be in?'

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The emphasis of defining and thinking about the business from the customer's perspective is further highlighted in 'Marketing Myopia', by Theodore Levitt, a Harvard Business Review article.

Always ask where the competition might come from; and examine substitutable products. The customer group often never articulates their greatest unsatisfied need.

Do not focus on the product, rather keep focusing on the people who consume it (or don’t consume it) and their changing needs and desires, remembering that the consumer always buys to accomplish something.

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Linked to the process is the idea of business model - as described by Joan Magretta in 'What Management Is':

A business model is a set of assumptions about how an organization will perform by creating value for all the players on whom it depends, not just its customers. [It] is a story of how an enterprise works.

Like all good stories...

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Strategy is another representation of this idea. The following extract is taken from 'Winning', by Jack Welch:

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