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Boards That Excel by B. Joseph White

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CHAPTER 3

Understand the Enterprise

What Is a Company (School, Hospital …)?

The first marketing course I took began with an assignment to read “A Note on the Worldwide Watch Industry,” a dense document describing the global market for watches including market participants, products, price points, volumes, and distribution channels.

My section mates and I went to class expecting a discussion of the watch industry. That didn’t happen. Instead, our professor, Steve Starr, faced the class and asked a simple question: “What is a watch?”

The answer turned out to be anything but simple.

A watch is a way of keeping time and doing so portably. As a young man, this was the only way I had ever thought about watches.

But, as various students pointed out, ...

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